How did Black Friday impact top shopping apps in 2019 ?
Which apps did achieve the best results on Black Friday? In this article, we will have a look at the fierce competition that occurred in November between shopping apps. Newcomers could defy established players and benefit from numerous downloads thanks to a performing seasonal marketing.
Online shopping on Black Friday hit $7.4B in 2019
According to Adobe Analytics, Americans spent $7.4B online during Black Friday. This is 19.6% more than in 2018, and 40% of these sales were made via mobile. This trend just keeps growing, as ecommerce continues to outpace overall retail growth (14.1% online vs. 4.0% overall). Actually, in November-December 2019, Adobe Analytics predicts that shopping on smartphones will account for 47% of the overall US retail growth.
Half of shopping apps were pushed out of the top 10 by newcomers during Black Friday
In November, competition was tough on the Apple Store. Let’s have a look at the apps which ranked in the Top 10 in the category “Shopping” (US). The charts below show the Top 10 at a two week interval (1st of November, 15th and 29th - Black Friday).
Top 10 apps in the category Shopping on Apple Store in November 2019 (US)
Apps that ranked in the top 10 on the 15th of November are the same as in the top 10 from the beginning of the month. However, half of them did not remain in the top 10 by the 29th (Poshmark, eBay, Arrive, Shein and OfferUp). This is because in the shadows, many newcomers were rising in the rankings, preparing their final ascent for Black Friday. The chart below gives a better idea of that situation.
Ranking History of the apps that performed during Black Friday - November 2019
Who are the winners and losers of Black Friday in 2019 ?
1. Amazon and Walmart kept their leading position
Downloads estimates of Amazon, Walmart and Goat in November 2019 (IOS, US)
Amazon and Walmart remained first and second in the Shopping Category on the Apple Store during November. Amazon ranked first most of the time but Walmart surpassed it from the 27th to the 30th of November. Walmart’s downloads soared from the 25th of November: they reached 300 000 in total on the 27th and 28th, and received 200 000 downloads on the 29th for Black Friday alone. In comparison, Walmart had on average 50 000 daily downloads earlier in November. Finally, Goat made a big move one week before Black Friday, reaching 150 000 downloads two days in a row.
Neither Amazon nor Walmart invested specifically in ASO but they benefited from seasonal marketing campaigns, keeping their store pages aligned accordingly with holiday-themed creatives.
Screenshot update of Amazon before the Holiday Season
2. Downloads of Adidas and Best Buy grew by 500% over the two weeks before Black Friday
Beside the giants, other apps made their way to the top. Adidas (+582%) and Best Buy (+454%) had the highest growth in terms of downloads between the 15th and the 29th of November.
Adidas’s downloads rose sharply on the 26th of November and stayed at a high level during the next three days. In total, between the 15th and the 29th of November, their amount of downloads was multiplied by 6.8. As for Best Buy, their downloads have grown exponentially during November, peaking on the 29th (Best Buy had 5.5 times more downloads on the 29th than two weeks prior).
Regarding ASO, Adidas updated its screenshots, its promotional text and description as part of their “Door Crashers 2019” campaign. The campaign, which started on the 21st, gained traction and brought a peak in downloads on the 26th, 3 days before Black Friday.
Downloads estimates of Best Buy and Adidas in November 2019 (IOS, US)
Screenshot update of Adidas before the Holiday season
Target and Rakuten are also part of the apps that achieved a good ranking on Black Friday. Their downloads have grown steadily throughout the month. Rakuten updated its subtitle a few times and adapted its screenshots.
They also mentioned it in their screenshots from the 8th of November.
Screenshot update of Rakuten in November 2019
3. Wish, eBay and Poshmark were the losers on Black Friday
These apps had the biggest decline in downloads over November among the top shopping apps selected on the 15th of November. Their lowest level was on the 29th.
Downloads estimates of Wish, eBay and Poshmark in November 2019 (IOS, US)
Why such a decline ? On the one hand, none of these apps focused on ASO during the holiday season. On the other hand, it could be because eBay and Poshmark are both huge marketplaces for selling used or new clothing online. As second-hand products account for a significant part of their sales, Black Friday might not be their priority. Concerning Wish, because it is an ultra-bargain shopping site at the core, maybe it had less appeal for an event like Black Friday than more traditional brands or marketplaces. Or they simply didn’t put as much effort or money as their competitors into a Black Friday campaign.
Finally, among our top players, downloads of Nike and Arrive fluctuated during November. Nike’s downloads rose each weekend by 50% and came back to their normal levels during the week. On the other hand, downloads of Arrive also fluctuated over the month, but they followed an opposite trend: rising during the week and decreasing during the weekend. In any case, neither Nike nor Arrive were affected by Black Friday in terms of downloads. Nike managed to stay in the top 10 of its category despite the increase in competition. Again, neither of these two apps implemented a specific ASO strategy for Black Friday, which explain their relative failure to capitalize on seasonality.
Downloads estimates of Nike and Arrive in November 2019 (IOS, US)
In conclusion, while Black Friday is one of the most important days to gain app downloads in the shopping category, ASO is part of the strategy to reach the top of the store on that day.