Walmart tops Amazon as most-downloaded US shopping app on Black Friday

Amazon says Cyber Monday 2019 has now become the retailer’s biggest shopping day of all time, based on the number of items sold worldwide. However, in the U.S., a different trend took shape over the big sales holiday weekend kicked off by Black Friday. This year, Walmart became the No. 1 shopping app in the U.S. on Black Friday for the first time ever, according to Sensor Tower’s analysis.

Walmart’s app reached No. 1 among all shopping in the U.S. after peaking on Thanksgiving as No. 6 among all apps (not just shopping), noted App Annie, based on both iOS and Android downloads.

Sensor Tower confirmed the same, noting that Walmart was the most-installed shopping app on the U.S. App Store on Black Friday, with 113,000 new downloads, representing a year-over-year increase of 23%.

Remarkably, this made 2019 the first year that Amazon’s app didn’t top the App Store’s list of most-downloaded shopping apps, the firm says.

Amazon’s app was a close second, with 102,000 first-time installs, but this figure represented a 10% decrease from Black Friday 2018.

The further top 10 list included: Target, Best Buy, GOAT, Nike, Kohl’s, Wish, Macy’s and Adidas. Combined, these top 10 most-download apps grew 11% year-over-year, reaching a total 527,000 installs. That’s 28.8% of all downloads for the Shopping category — the largest percentage since the Shopping category’s creation in 2015.

Overall, the number of first-time downloads in the U.S. App Store’s Shopping category on Black Friday increased 8% year-over-year, and totaled 1.8 million downloads.

Though Walmart was No. 1 in the U.S., Amazon was No. 1 when apps were ranked globally instead of U.S.-only, and it was No. 1 among all U.S. online-only apps.

While Sensor Tower’s analysis is based on Black Friday installs, not Cyber Monday data, Amazon’s worldwide dominance on this day does seem to back up the retailer’s own claims of its record-breaking sales on a global basis on Monday.

Amazon said customers bought “hundreds of millions” of products between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. And it said “millions more” customers bought Amazon devices, like Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick, compared with the same period last year. (That may be true, but Amazon devices are also more broadly available to customers worldwide compared with 2018 — so perhaps this isn’t the fairest comparison.)

Walmart, meanwhile, didn’t tout its Cyber Monday event’s numbers, but said “millions” of customers joined for Black Friday sales online and in stores.

One thing that could have boosted Walmart’s app downloads this year was its focus on the in-store customer.

The app now includes an updated Store Map that makes it easier to navigate Walmart’s aisles, and it features “Check out with Me” — a way for shoppers to avoid checkout lines and instead check out with store personnel in the aisles.

Update, Dec 5, 2019: At the time of publication, App Annie’s analysis had also shown Walmart took over Amazon’s spot on Black Friday. The company has now retracted that claim and says Amazon was, in fact, ahead.