More than 60% of Black Friday shoppers are set to use mobile apps rather than desktop websites to hunt for bargains this year.
For years, people’s shopping habits have been moving away from stores to the web in search of a more efficient retail experience.
But new research compiled in a survey by app engagement specialists Branding Brand and Leanplum suggests that many are seeking out even greater convenience.
According to the firms’ figures, 65% of shoppers will turn to their phones and tablets to do their Black Friday and Christmas shopping this year, with 35% specifically keen on using apps.
With big retailers like Amazon continuously tempting prospective buyers by putting up new offers at all hours of the day in the week leading up to Black Friday – commonly known as “flash sales” – people are using apps in the hope of receiving alerts and notifications when the time comes for a deal they might be interested in.
Joyce Solano, vice president of marketing at Leanplum, told The Drum: “The in-app experience gives a more personalised user experience and they provide a huge opportunity for brands to engage with consumers on a one-to-one level, in real time, and drive deep engagement across the mobile shopping journey.”
As well as offering alerts, many shopping apps are also a source of exclusive promotions and discount codes.
They also allow for users to quickly and easily share links to products with friends and family, perhaps as a recommendation or as a nod towards something they would quite like to see under the tree on Christmas Day.
Chris Mason, chief executive officer of Branding Brand, said such features are making apps a far quicker and more painless shopping experience than traditional stores and even websites.
Leanplum and Branding Brand’s research is skewed towards the US market, but the trend is also expected to be replicated in the UK.
App market analyst App Annie says that time spent by Brits using Android shopping apps on Black Friday this year will increase by 65% compared to 2015, up to more than six million hours.
Three of the top six most downloaded free apps on the UK Google Play Store on Friday were shopping apps:
:: Wish – claims to seek out “millions” of the best online and retail deals.
:: Groupon – promises personalised discounts based on your location.
:: Amazon – the most popular dedicated retailer app on the store.
All three were also ranking highly on the Apple App Store, charting ahead of the likes of Netflix, Gmail, Twitter and the latest edition of EA Sports’ FIFA football game.