While in Europe and the States there has been talk in recent years of a ‘Mobile first’ strategy, in Asia it is definitely a ‘Mobile only’ market and there is no indication that it will be any different in our country.
Asia sets the trends
Already in 2015, consumers in China were more likely to make purchases via mobile phones than on a computer, the following year it was already over 70%, and now the vast majority of e-commerce transactions already come from mobile phones.
Japanese app and game users account for almost half of all smartphone owners and are willing to spend huge amounts of money to develop their “gaming wallet”. Japanese spent $371 on mobile games alone, compared to $77 in the US a year later.
From social media apps to shopping apps
The rankings of the most installed apps are, regardless of the market and the level of penetration of this medium, dominated by tools that support communication (Messenger, WhatsApp) and other popular platforms in the social media environment (Instagram, Tik Tok, SHAREit). This is followed by applications that allow for mobile use of our film and music accounts (Netflix, Spotify), or personalisation of our graphic materials (Video Maker, Cut Cut, Ulike). Possibilities of practical application and frequency of use are the most important factors motivating users to switch from web to application. This is why “commercial” applications, through which the user can order, book or quickly hunt for a promotion, are gaining an increasing share of this market. In the ranking showing the fastest growth in app downloads in the US market, the Walmart app was already in 7th place, and the entire Shopping category ranked 6th in the top category of iOS installations.
Shopping is not the only category that has seen rapid growth in reach. According to Comscore statistics published in 2018 showing the average growth (across eight markets) in reach in selected app categories, personal finance grew the most. E-Banking comes in third place – reflecting the digital banking revolution we are part of. Between the two is apparel, with retail food in fourth place. Social networking shows the lowest growth in reach, reflecting the huge reach this category already has.
Dynamic growth of shopping through apps
In the US, according to mobile commerce optimisation platform Button, the number of orders using this channel has increased by an average of 38% per user in the last year. An even higher growth rate was recorded in the number of installations, with 106% more downloads in 2019 compared to 2018 and conversion rates up 12%. Apps overtook mobile sites as the preferred shopping channel in terms of both conversion (86%) and number of orders per customer (27%). A new group of consumers is willing to spend significantly more on online purchases (an average of $75 per order vs $41 per order among existing active e-customers). Based on this hard data, Michael Jaconi, co-founder and CEO of Button, is convinced that the mobile ecommerce era is beginning.
Will consumers in Europe also switch to ecommerce apps?
In Europe, with some delay, similar trends can be seen. Already, major online retailers are following changes in user behaviour and focusing their strategy exclusively on mobile, e.g. Zalando, which has heavily promoted its mobile app in recent years, claims that most transactions are generated through this channel. In the German market, more than 70% of adults have already made a purchase via mobile.
If these trends continue, we will be talking about a mobile-only market in Europe within a few years. E-commerce is getting ready to accept this fact and more and more shops are considering, creating, implementing or already widely promoting their mobile application.