Consumers spend more than 300% more in a retailer's app than on the retailer's mobile site, according to a U.K.-based app report on Q4 2017.

App shoppers spent more time and money in a retailer’s app than on a retailer’s desktop and mobile site in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to aggregate data of 28 apps from 15 retailers that use the mobile app platform Poq and that shared their web data with the vendor. Clients on the U.K.-based platform include department store House of Fraser Stores Ltd. (No. 69 in Internet Retailer’s 2017 Europe 500) and furniture retailer The majority of Poq’s clients are based in the U.K.

App revenue per consumer per retailer is 8.28 pounds ($11.75) in Q4 compared with 2.33 pounds ($3.30) on mobile sites, and 3.78 pounds ($5.35) on desktops, according to Poq data on these 15 retailers. Even though the average app shopper spends more when shopping in an app than on a desktop or mobile website—because fewer consumers have a retailer’s app—overall, mobile web and desktop sales still make up a large share of a retailer’s e-commerce sales.

The reason for more revenue per consumer in a retailer’s app compared with the retailer’s e-commerce site is likely because shoppers spend more time browsing in apps than on the web, according to Poq data. Shoppers spent 6 minutes and 49 seconds in a retailer’s app in Q4 2017, compared with 4 minutes and 13 seconds shoppers spent on mobile web, or 5 minutes 35 seconds on desktops, on average in Q4 2017.

The same holds true for top retailer sites, according to market research firm comScore Inc. data. For example, 78% of mobile minutes are spent in app for Inc. (No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2017 Top 500) compared with 22% on mobile web, and 74% of mobile minutes are spent in app for Walmart Inc. (No. 3) shoppers, compared with 26% on mobile web.


Breaking down the Poq retailers’ app sales by month in Q4 2017, November generated the most app sales with 41% of app sales for the quarter, 31% are in December and 28% are in October, according to Poq data.

November leads the way because of the popular shopping holidays around Thanksgiving, according to Poq. On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, apps generated 22.3% of mobile revenue on that day for the analyzed retailers, up from 14.1% of mobile revenue on Black Friday 2016. The rest of sales are from mobile sites, as not all shoppers have the mobile app. Looking at total online revenue on Black Friday, apps generated 10.1% of e-commerce sales for those retailers on Black Friday 2017, up from 6.6% in 2016.

Overall, more shoppers are downloading shopping apps on Black Friday, as on this day, consumers downloaded these retailers’ apps 2.0-times more than on an average day in Q4, and 2.6-times more than on an average day in 2017, according to Poq data.

Most clients on the Poq platform sent multiple push notifications on Black Friday, which were followed by hours of the highest amount of app sales that day, according to Poq data. On Black Friday, app sales surged for these retailers between 8-10 a.m. and then later from 5-10 p.m.


Still, many retailers don’t have an app, and total mobile sales across all e-commerce retailers lags behind desktop sales. Mobile web and mobile apps account for only 24% of dollars, according to comScore Inc. data for Q4.