Posted January 7, 2015 4:45 pm by with 1 comment

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Target AppYesterday, I talked about how social media isn’t just for entertainment anymore. A recent Harris Poll shows that more people are using social to find jobs, homes and all the things they need to get along in life.

Looks like the same can now be said for mobile app usage. According to Flurry Analytics, overall app usage in 2014 grew 76%. In the past, a lot of the growth came from entertainment and messaging apps, but this year it was shopping apps that pushed the bar to the top of the graph.

When you combine all shopping app opens (“a session”) on both iOS and Android apps, you’ll see 174% growth year-over-year. (Note that on iOS devices, “Lifestyle” apps are part of this category.)

If you pull out just the Android stats, we’re looking at a 220% increase in shopping app usage. That’s crazy.

Drilling down into the data we see that shopping apps are used both at home and on the road.

Flurry ShoppingDistribution
Flurry noted a flurry of activity between 9 am and noon but more often from a zip code that wasn’t home. Home usage peaked around 8 in the evening as folks sat down to shop while watching TV.

Note that home usage continues until dawn! Thanks to mobile, we no longer need QVC to quench our thirst while the rest of the world sleeps.

Plenty to Go Around

Shopping certainly lead the charge in 2014 but Flurry noted growth in every app category.

Flurry2014-Sessions-Growth-vF2

Utilities and Productivity apps came in second with 121% growth. This is proof that we’re using apps for everything from writing the great American novel to lighting our way in a dark parking lot.

Messaging, which was the darling of the 13’s, came in third for growth in 2014.

Health & Fitness and Travel apps both crossed the average growth line.

The categories that didn’t fare as well as their comrades are Sports, News, Music and Games.

Games showed the least amount of growth dropping from a 61% increase in 2013 to only 30% in 2014. Guess our love affair with angry birds and crushed candy is finally wearing off.

Let’s end with a marvelous piece of trivia you can use to astound your friends: on December 31, 2014 Flurry tracked 8.5 billion app sessions. That’s how we spent our holiday. Just imagine what that number will be a year from now.

  • Users are getting more and more accustomed to shopping apps because the big brands like Amazon, Zara, H&M, etc. have had them around for quite some while now. Now we also see smaller brands getting into mobile commerce apps as well. They should however make sure they create apps with a user experience which is up to par or preferably even better than the big brands. Because users have come to expect a great user experience for apps. Some of the smaller brands are hesitant to invest in shopping apps because great apps need a substantial budget to design, build and maintain. That is why platform solutions are turning up more and more. The cases of Highstreet app platform show that a for brands and shops from 1-2 million in revenue, having a high quality commerce app can add significant value. Lower revenues probably will not make sense. Also the type of products is important: ideally you need to be a brand with products people like to buy more often like fashion, design, lifestyle or even wines. In those cases a great shopping app can easily double conversion rates and add 10-20% to the business (probably more as mobile keeps growing).