Europe saw a 35% rise in e-commerce app installs during the coronavirus pandemic – 12% higher than during the final-quarter holiday shopping season in 2019 – underlining the need for brands to establish a shopping app strategy.

The trend suggests that this year’s holiday season e-commerce activity is likely to set new records, say the authors of the latest edition of The State of Shopping App Marketing, produced by global attribution company AppsFlyer.

The momentum that built up behind e-commerce during the pandemic, along with the fact that consumers want safer shopping options, means brands must adapt, say the authors. Marketers need to meet consumers where they are in order to drive sales and mimic the in-person shopping experience as physical shoppers increasingly become digital shoppers.

“This year, more than ever, it is critical that marketers prepare a carefully planned strategy to ensure consumers are able to find, explore, and shop within their app instead of turning to a number of alternatives,” said Shani Rosenfelder, Head of Content & Mobile Insights, AppsFlyer.

“Special attention should be given to messaging that relays a sense of empathy to rekindle the holiday spirit during troubled times,” she added.

The report reveals that in the UK, overall shopping app usage rose by 7.6% in May and was up 8% in June, overall beating the 7.1% rise recorded in November 2019.

A similar picture was evident across Europe, where overall shopping app usage was up 7% in May, versus peak growth of 6.7% in November last year.

Ad spending in the UK was up 166% between March and June, despite the lockdown, says the report, and consumer shopping spending beat the Q4 spending rush in 2019 across all categories.

“The opportunity is tremendous for brands and marketers, with added pressure to not only provide access to e-commerce via shopping apps, but to also implement creativity, compassion and understanding throughout marketing efforts and UX,” said Doug McMillen, Vice President, Enterprise Strategy, AppsFlyer.

Sourced from AppsFlyer