Users Spend More Money in Apps as Mobile Web Use Declines

Native mobile apps are driving retail, along with consumers ordering from their laptops and desktops. And that means the mobile web, long viewed as a salve for retailers, is being left behind.

That data comes from commerce marketing platform Criteo, which has published its Q4 2017 findings. It finds that mobile now rules transactions in North America: some 44 percent of total transactions happen in an app, followed by desktop with 33 percent. The mobile web accounts for 23 percent of transactions.

Of mobile transactions, 66 percent occur within an app; this has led to a year-over-year increase of 44 percent in the share of in-app transactions. Apps also contribute to a higher conversion rate: 21 percent of people shopping in a mobile app actually buy a product, a percentage that dips dramatically to 3 percent for the mobile web. In other words, native mobile apps drive three times more sales than the mobile web, according to Criteo data.

Mobile even drives desktop sales. As Criteo notes: “26 percent of all desktop transactions in the U.S. are preceded by a click on a mobile device.” Retailers without a strong mobile presence are seeing a 13 percent uptick in these “cross-device sales.”

This data regarding sales conversions can be attributed, at least in part, to mobile APIs that allow smoother transactions. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Stripe and other platforms provide easy plug-and-play payment processing for developers, and steamless experiences for users.

App Annie data shows users prefer native overall, too, spending seven times longer in apps than on mobile websites. These findings, which bolster the Criteo data, suggest “some successful businesses are now seeing more than half of their sales come through mobile channels, and app users specifically convert at three times the rate of mobile web users” (in the words of App Annie).

Sales drive business, and native apps drive sales. If your business (or client) has been considering a mobile app, now’s a perfect time to roll it out. It’s also a smart time for developers to consider the e-commerce market, as Apple has taken steps to reduce the number of web apps masquerading as native on their platform (a critical consideration, as data shows iOS users spend more).