E-commerce Bounces Back: New Data from Adjust Shows Apps Breaking Out Of The COVID Slump

San Francisco and Berlin, May 13, 2020 — As the COVID-19 pandemic enters a new phase and consumer habits shift amid loosening restrictions in daily life, nowhere is this trend more visible than in the world of ecommerce. Data by global app marketing platform Adjust suggests that marketers are beginning to reverse a freeze in ad spending on user acquisition as shoppers return to pre-COVID consumption patterns.

In the immediate aftermath of lockdowns, many ecommerce apps pulled back on spending for user acquisition and saw a marked decline of app installs and in-app sessions in late March. But since the beginning of April, Adjust found that ecommerce apps have begun to recover, with installs and in-app sessions on the rise, a sign that ad spend on user acquisition is resuming.

Although the app economy was largely resilient in the face of COVID-19, with people turning to apps more than ever, ecommerce apps fared poorly by comparison. As reported in Adjust’s recently released App Trends report, ecommerce app installs trended down 12% week-on-week through March 2020, as companies pulled advertising, with a decrease in paid installs of 35% from March to April.

Yet new data by Adjust suggest these key indicators have risen back to near pre-COVID levels. This follows an overall recovery in digital ad spending in general, as the economy prepares for more activity.

“Consumption patterns may not change as much after the lockdown as some are assuming.” said Sven Arn, CEO of Happy Thinking People, a global marketing research and strategy company. “The reason is that many consumers expect behavioral changes in others and less in themselves. They criticize someone flying halfway around the world just to attend a business meeting, but are already anticipating taking a flight for their next vacation. So, we can probably expect quite a high degree of bounce-back in terms of consumer behavior.”

Companies have already stepped up their game by focusing on re-engaging users. Comparing the last week of March to the last week of April, users returning to their favored e-commerce platforms have increased by 43%, thanks to a combination of paid campaigning and users finally ready to purchase again.

“The ecommerce industry got a bit shell-shocked in the first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown in March, with marketers dialing back ad spend,” said Paul H. Müller, co-founder and CTO at Adjust. “Yet we’ve seen the vertical rebound in April, as marketers and consumers alike are learning to live with the situation and return to more established consumption patterns. So there’s been a broader push toward re-engagement and re-targeting, in line with bringing customers back into the funnel.”

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About Adjust

Adjust is the global app marketing platform. Born at the heart of the mobile app economy and grown out of a passion for technology, the company now has 16 offices around the world.

Adjust’s platform includes measurement, fraud prevention, cybersecurity and marketing automation products. Together, they make marketing simpler, smarter and more secure for the 35,000 apps working with Adjust. Global leading brands including Procter & Gamble, Rocket Internet and Tencent Games have implemented its solutions to secure their budgets and improve results.

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