e-commerce apps bounce back from pandemic slump

Image courtesy of Adjust

Marketers are beginning to reverse a freeze in ad-spending on user acquisition as e-commerce and online shoppers return to pre-COVID consumption patterns, according to data from Adjust.

Since the beginning of April, Adjust found that e-commerce apps have begun to recover, with installs and in-app sessions on the rise, a sign that ad spend on user acquisition is resuming. 

Although the app economy was largely resilient in the face of COVID-19, with people turning to apps more than ever, e-commerce apps fared poorly by comparison.

Based on Adjust’s recently released App Trends report, e-commerce app installs trended down 12% week-on-week through March 2020, as companies pulled advertising, with a decrease in paid installs of 35% from March to April. 

Yet new data by Adjust suggest these key indicators have risen back to near pre-COVID levels. This follows an overall recovery in digital ad spending in general, as the economy prepares for more activity.

“Consumption patterns may not change as much after the lockdown as some are assuming (because) many consumers expect behavioural changes in others and less in themselves. .” said Sven Arn, CEO of Happy Thinking People, a global marketing research and strategy company.

“They criticise someone flying halfway around the world just to attend a business meeting, but are already anticipating taking a flight for their next vacation,” said Arn. “So, we can probably expect quite a high degree of bounce-back in terms of consumer behaviour,” Arn continued. 

Companies have already stepped up their game by focusing on re-engaging users. Comparing the last week of March to the last week of April, users returning to their favoured e-commerce platforms have increased by 43%, thanks to a combination of paid campaigning and users finally ready to purchase again.

“We’ve seen the vertical rebound in April, as marketers and consumers alike are learning to live with the (COVID-19) situation and return to more established consumption patterns,” said Paul H. Müller, co-founder and CTO at Adjust. “So there’s been a broader push toward re-engagement and re-targeting, in line with bringing customers back into the funnel.”