App Commerce Booming in APAC

Apps have rapidly become a huge part of daily life, and Criteo data shows that users are more comfortable than ever with in-app shopping.
Updated on September 26, 2023

In our recent webinar “App Marketing Master Class,” we shared exclusive data and research that Criteo conducted on how the international health crisis has impacted app commerce and usage trends.

While COVID-19 has hit the global economy hard, the pandemic has also fueled the surge in a variety of in-app activities, from gaming and ordering food, to video conferencing and shopping.

App Commerce is Going Strong

Criteo data shows that APAC leads globally in app commerce, with 59% of total digital transactions happening in an app, compared to 47% in EMEA and 29% in the Americas during August 2020. Moreover, conversion rates are highest on apps. In APAC during the same period, we saw a 22% conversion rate on mobile apps versus a 3% conversion rate on mobile web.1

That’s not all. Consumers have also been downloading apps in droves. In April, May, and June of 2020, Criteo conducted a Global App Survey among 19,000 app users around the world, including over 8,000 app users in APAC. The study revealed that 55% of all APAC shoppers downloading at least one shopping app (retail, food, or grocery/alcohol) during the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.2

We already know that APAC is ahead of the global curve in terms of app usage, but this statistic is incredibly significant as it indicates that more than half of consumers are open to trying new apps to suit their needs when it comes to products and services.

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Apps: A Growing Part of Daily Life

Let’s look at how apps are becoming an integral part of daily life, now more so than ever.

Our research shows a number of ways that people are leveraging apps to suit their adapted lifestyles due to COVID-19.3

  • In-hand entertainment: 39% of shoppers downloaded a gaming app.
  • Food at their fingertips. 38% of shoppers downloaded a food delivery app.
  • Retail at the ready. 32% of shoppers downloaded a retail shopping app.

Gen Z & Millennials prefer using apps more than older generations, and this is true across most product categories. However, Gen Xers are right there alongside their younger counterparts when it comes to downloads of food delivery (3 in 10) and retail shopping apps (4 in 10).3

Increased App Usage in the New Normal

It may come as little surprise that mobile users in APAC use social media apps on a daily basis, but most users also report using shopping apps multiple times a week. In addition, approximately one-third of users surveyed reported using a grocery/alcohol delivery, retail shopping, and food delivery app multiple times a week.4

When it comes to working from home, a majority of APAC shoppers use their utility apps such as video conferencing for meetings at least once a day.4

One in two APAC app users said they planned to make a purchase in an app they downloaded during the first half of 2020.4 Younger generations are more likely than older ones to make an in-app purchase or download a paid app.3

What drives app installs?

While word-of-mouth referrals from friends, family or coworkers led to the most app downloads (46%), ads on social networks, other apps and TV combined led to 60% of app downloads.4

Our findings show that targeted ads, app functionality, and word of mouth drive app installs:

  • 46% of APAC shoppers downloaded an app after seeing an ad on TV, social networks, or a different app.
  • 50% of Gen Z & Millennials downloaded an app after seeing an ad on TV, social networks, or a different app.

Loyalty and Your Best App Users

What’s clear is that apps are becoming an even bigger part of daily life, and businesses must continuously build and maintain trust with their users. For more on how to build an effective app advertising campaign plan that drives sales and builds long term loyalty, access our on-demand webinar here.

1Criteo, August 2020, retailers with a shopping App in 50 countries. Base: unweighted sales aggregate

2Unduplicated total; Criteo Global App Survey, APAC, April/May/June 2020 n=8162

3Criteo Global App Survey, APAC, April/May/June 2020 n=8162

4Criteo Global App Survey, APAC, April/May/June 2020 n=7284

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