More and more Apac consumers embracing shopping apps

Users of shopping apps users are becoming increasingly purchase-happy in what is poised to be mobile commerce’s biggest year so far, according to a recent study by Liftoff.

The report by the mobile-app marketing and retargeting platform also uncovers key insights into Asia Pacific (Apac) mobile shopping behaviour, suggesting the rise of “Mobile Window Shopping” in the region, which is underpinned by the low costs of installing shopping apps and acquiring new users.

Analysing more than 90.9 billion ad impressions across four global zones, 13.6 million installs and 3.9 million registration and purchase events between April 2018 and April this year, the report identified several trends relevant to the Apac region.

In Apac, users are clearly open to exploring retail apps, with registration rates skyrocketing and acquisition costs dropping year-on-year. But the data points to a surprising new trend – “Mobile Window Shopping”. While users install and register in retail apps with ease, the joint report shows a sizeable drop-off at the all-important purchase stage. Apac’s cost-per-first-purchase comes in at US$31.26 (up 13.3 per cent year-on-year), coupled with a low 10.1 per cent conversion rate.

This could point to a larger retail trend: the demand for a more user-friendly shopping experience. While price tends to dominate purchasing decisions, factors such as having personal engagements with retailers and concerns on whether the retailers can capably fulfill orders are also seen as crucial by mobile shoppers.

“For marketers looking to boost purchase rates, the key is to utilise the data they have, understand potential drop-off points and to segment and target properly,” said Adjust co-founder and CEO Christian Henschel. “Brands can then create and deliver the perfect user interaction strategies for their marketing initiatives. This personalisation is key to winning over fickle consumers and building long-term loyalty.”

Southeast Asia’s largest country – Indonesia – presents a dynamic landscape for marketers operating in APAC; especially in terms of the number of users that can be acquired. However, turning those acquisitions into actual purchases will likely depend on how convenient the mobile app shopping experience is. The cost of an application installment is just US$1.65, but this is paired with somewhat meagre conversion rates. Another concern for marketers and retailers is that retention rates of shopping apps in Indonesia trail behind other markets studied in the region, the prime reasons being consumers having a low learning curve, lack of patience with the app onboarding process and failing to understand the long-term value of installing an app.


“The shopping app market in Asia is growing dynamically and at an all-time-high, yet based on our findings, the number of purchases made through such apps are not as high as they could be; despite the general trend of consumers moving their browsing from store windows to the phones’ screens,” said, Liftoff VP marketing Dennis Mink. 

“Indonesia is a microcosm of the behaviors and concerns of the region’s shoppers. So, finding the right message and conveying it in the right context to the consumer can help remove these roadblocks, thereby improving retention and interest.”

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