U.S. consumers are spending 10 hours per year in shopping apps

Mobile shopping is on the rise, with U.S. consumers now spending nearly 50 minutes in shopping apps per month, or 10 hours per year, according to a new report out this morning from App Annie. Digital-first shopping apps, like those from Amazon, Etsy, Wish and others, are also growing more quickly in terms of total sessions and monthly usage, compared to shopping apps from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, the report also found.

In the U.S., the top 5 digital-first shopping apps saw more than 60 percent growth in total sessions year-over-year, during the first half of 2017, compared with just 50 percent growth in traditional retailers’ digital apps.

In terms of average monthly sessions in the U.S., digital-first apps grew nearly 25 percent, compared with 15 percent for those from brick-and-mortar retailers.

This is one area where Amazon is beating Walmart, it seems. Digital-first apps like those from Amazon also saw 19 sessions per month, compared to only 12 sessions per month from brick-and-mortar retailers, like Target and Walmart, during the first part of the year, says App Annie.

The top five digital-first apps by time spent in the U.S. during H1 2017 were Amazon, Amazon Shopping (Amazon had an old app that was removed from the app store, but still ranked in this chart), Wish, Etsy and Zulily. Amazon Shopping was also the top app in the U.K. and Germany, and the number two app in Japan.

Amazon, followed by Wish, Etsy, AliExpress, and Amazon Prime Now were also the top apps in the U.S. during H1 2017 by monthly active users.

Meanwhile, the top five apps from traditional retailers by time spent in the U.S. during H1 2017 were Walmart, Cartwheel (Target’s app, which is now in the process of merging with Target’s main app), Kohl’s, The Home Depot and Kroger.

By monthly actives, the U.S. list included Walmart, Walgreens, Cartwheel, Kohl’s and Target.

Walgreens, in particular, has seen surging growth in users, up 65 percent year-over-year in H1, noted the report.

In addition, people tend to use the apps from brick-and-mortar retailers while on the go – perhaps while browsing the aisles, or trying to locate items in the store. Meanwhile, the digital-first apps were more often used while on Wi-Fi – indicating the shopper was likely either at work or home when they launched the app.

These findings will come into play this holiday shopping season when App Annie predicts that users will spend more than 12 million hours in the top 5 digital-first Android apps in the U.S., on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, or 40 percent more time than last year.

The firm also predicts an increase in app-only deals and exclusives, and exclusive deals at brick-and-mortars with new in-store features, like Target’s visual search or Walmart’s Scan-and-Go.