Shopping app installs saw explosive growth in the United States in 2020, climbing 19% year-on-year to 663.8 million and surpassing the previous year’s growth by 15 percentage points. Sensor Tower 2021 Market Application Status Report, available now, is an in-depth dive into consumer-to-consumer (C2C) market applications, analyzing how this sub-category of retail applications has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and examining its latest trends at the start of 2021.
Top Marketplace Apps Retained 33% Market Share in Q1 2021
Shopping apps have seen a persistent increase in their overall adoption since last year, when consumers turned to mobile shopping in dramatically increased numbers. In 2021, the category recorded its highest level of installs in the first quarter with 162 million coming from US app stores. Within the category, market applications such as Amazon and Wish accounted for a 33% share of downloads among its top 100 apps.
While marketplace apps occupy a strong presence in the shopping category, their market share has declined over the past three years, from 40% in 2018. This could be partly due to the proliferation of physical stores launching unique stores. branded retail applications, a trend that accelerated last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resale app retention continues to climb in 2021
In all three types of market applications we looked at (general, resale, and car buying), user retention tended to increase in 1Q21. However, among the top six apps, resale platforms such as OfferUp and Poshmark led the pack with the highest retention rates throughout 2020 and continues through early this year.
Although retention of resale apps is higher, general market apps have seen the strongest year-over-year growth. In 1Q21, the main general market applications recorded a first-day retention rate of 23%, 5 points higher than 18% in 1Q20.
Car Buying Apps See Consistent Installations on the App Store
US car buying apps saw a full recovery in 1Q21 from 1Q19. On the App Store and Google Play, the top six such apps have collectively reached around 2.4 million installs. This was led by iOS users, which accounted for double the installs of Android users.
While installations of these types of apps on the App Store have remained fairly consistent over the past two years, Google’s market has seen a drop in downloads. In 2020, car buying apps hit around 3.2 million installs, down 22% year-on-year from just over 4 million the year before.
For more analyzes of the Sensor Tower Store intelligence platform, including key insights into the performance of major US market applications, download the full report in PDF format below: