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Ecommerce app downloads were highest on Black Friday, up 81% over the average holiday rate, Airship found.

Cyber Monday and the rest of the Cyber 5 broke holiday shopping records this year. That’s good news for ecommerce app makers, who also saw record downloads during the shopping period. 

Black Friday was the top day for ecommerce app installations, according to mobile app experience vendor Airship. Ecommerce app downloads on Black Friday were 81% higher than the daily average holiday rate so far this year, per Airship. 

The four days with the highest ecommerce app downloads of the holiday season were the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the Saturday after Black Friday. Airship says 2023 marks the first year the top downloads came on consecutive days.

The top ecommerce apps by downloads between Nov. 23 and Nov. 27. include many retailers in the Top 1000, Digital Commerce 360’s 2023 ranking of the largest online retailers by sales in North America. The top ecommerce apps from most to least downloads on Apple’s App Store were Temu, Walmart (No. 1 in the Top 1000), Shopify (ecommerce platform vendor to 45 of the Top 1000), Amazon (No. 1) and Shein (No. 2 in Asia Database). That’s based on Similarweb data. In the Google Play store, the top apps by downloads were Temu, Shein, Walmart, Amazon, and Target (No. 5). The lists have some overlap with the most visited retail websites during the period, as reported by Digital Commerce 360 with Similarweb data.

Holiday mobile app results

63% of consumers who shopped online used mobile apps for at least some of their purchases, according to digital experience intelligence vendor Glassbox. That’s more than the 57% of consumers who said they planned to shop via apps, based on a survey of 1,000 online shoppers with Dynata surveys. 


Even with the strong turnout, mobile apps might not have lived up to their potential. Before Cyber 5, 84% of surveyed consumers told Glassbox they were willing to download and shop through a retailer’s app if it gave them access to extra sales and promotions. However, just 31% said they actually downloaded a new app. 

A Cyber 5 survey from Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights also found that consumers shopped through mobile apps. 29.8% of respondents said they placed an order on a retailer’s app over the Cyber 5 period. App usage almost caught up to ordering on a retailer’s site through a mobile device, which 34.9% of consumers said they did. Consumers aged 40 to 54 and 55 to 64 were the most likely to order through an app, at 37.4% and 32.1%, respectively.

Women were also more likely to report shopping through a retailer app. 35.3% of women said they made a purchase through an app, versus 23.8% of men.

Mobile shopping, including through mobile apps and visiting retailers’ websites on a mobile device, was a significant force in online shopping during Cyber 5. 59% of Thanksgiving online sales came from a smartphone, compared with 55% in 2022, according to Adobe Analytics. 


Mobile shopping remained strong throughout the rest of the shopping holiday. 51.8% of Cyber 5 online sales came from smartphones. That’s up from 49.9% during the 2022 Cyber 5 period.

Why retailers care about ecommerce app downloads

Online retailers have a vested interest in consumers downloading their apps. U.S. consumers spend, on average, 88% of time on their smartphones inside apps, rather than in the browser, according to Insider Intelligence. And they’re willing to spend money there, too. Global ecommerce app revenue reached $3.59 trillion in 2022, an increase of 8.1% year over year, per Business of Apps.

Retailers have noticed. 74% of retailers say investing in mobile apps is key to profitability, according to an August 2023 survey from Ipsos and Google of 450 retail app decision makers.

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