With consumers relying on e-commerce for their purchases, digital sales channels have seen a steady uptick in revenue, and mobile is no exception. In addition to retailers’ mobile sites, a new report from financial media brand Learn Bonds has found that shopping smartphone apps have surged in popularity, with the top five apps accounting for 26.9 million downloads in March alone.
Of those downloads, 90% were attributed to Android users. The most popular shopping app on the Google Play Store was e-commerce unicorn Wish, followed by AliExpress, Lazada and Club Factory, with Amazon Shopping in fifth place. However, across all smartphone apps, Amazon came in third place with 5.1 million downloads in March, ranking behind Wish and AliExpress.
These download figures reflect the continual shifts of the e-commerce marketplace. In 2019, Wish was the fourth most-popular shopping app, accounting for 11% of market share. It is known for offering low price points but long delivery times, as items are frequently shipped from countries such as China, Myanmar and Indonesia. After 7.38 million downloads in March, according to the Learn Bonds report, it now counts over 500 million users.
AliExpress, the e-commerce arm of Chinese retail giant Alibaba, also saw significant download numbers in March. In second place overall, it was particularly popular among Android users, with 5.4 million of its total 6.5 million downloads coming from the Google Play Store.
The company’s e-commerce site saw similarly high traffic numbers in March, with 532 million unique visitors, according to Statista and SEMrush data. Prior to the pandemic, AliExpress was particularly known for its cross-border purchases, holding 20% market share, but the move of average shoppers to e-commerce created growth across its other verticals.
Despite the lower positioning for Amazon, the retailer still tops the list of most-used shopping platforms globally, across channels. In March, Amazon reported 4 billion unique visitors — higher than the combined figures of competitors eBay, Apple, Walmart, Rakuten, Samsung.com and Apple.com.