Test Your Optimization IQ: App Category Navigation

Test Your Optimization IQ

We surveyed app shoppers to understand how they preferred to navigate product categories:

  • Test A: category links (i.e., selecting a category redirects shoppers to a new subcategory page)
  • Test B: category accordions (i.e., selecting a category expands its subcategory pages)

Can you guess which version shoppers thought was the easiest to find what they were looking for?

Select a test to reveal the winner:

Test A: category linksTest B: category accordions

Topics: Design Solutions Apps

Top 10 Shopping Apps of 2016

2016 Top Shopping Apps

Mobile apps are the keystone to completing the omnichannel shopping journey, but the hardest part is figuring out how to get people to download your mobile app and use it regularly.

According to App Annie, the top 10 shopping apps in Google Play and the App Store engage with a total of 148.4 million users each month. Here's a breakdown of their average monthly user base, open rate, and time spent in the app:


  • Total monthly active users: 56.2 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 61%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 48 minutes

Amazon takes the cake for having most monthly active users (MAU)—27.7 million iPhone users and 28.5 million Android users each month. On average, 61% of the total user base who have the app open it—the highest of all shopping apps—and spend about 48 minutes in it each month. This is the only shopping app on the list where iPhone and Android app usage stats are almost identical. 


  • Total monthly active users: 25.3 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 53%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 1 hour, 29 minutes

eBay has slightly more active Android users each month (14.2 million Android vs. 11.1 million iPhone). Of those who have the app downloaded to their smartphone, 58% of Droid users and 48% of iPhone users open it monthly. Although Android rules MAU and open rate, iPhone users spend more time in the app each month (1 hour, 37 minutes) compared to Android users (1 hour, 28 minutes).


  • Total monthly active users: 19 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 61%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 23 minutes

Groupon has nearly double the monthly active iPhone users (12.1 million MAU) compared to Android (6.9 million MAU); however, the open rate is almost identical. On average, the mobile app has an open rate of 61%. iPhone shoppers spend about 27 minutes each month in the app, while Android shoppers spend about 20 minutes.


  • Total monthly active users: 18.1 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 56%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 18 minutes

Nearly 2 in 3 active Walmart app shoppers use an Android smartphone. 67% of Android users who downloaded the app open it monthly—about 50% more than iPhone users—and the average Droid shopper spends 19 minutes each month in the Walmart app.


  • Total monthly active users: 7.9 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 47%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 8 minutes

Although Walgreen's smartphone app is most actively used by iPhone users (5.3 million iPhone MAU vs. 2.6 million Android MAU), Android shoppers spend 2 minutes more in the app every month. 52% of the total Walgreens iPhone app installs are opened every month—23% more than Android's monthly open rate.


  • Total monthly active users: 6.8 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 55%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 20 minutes

iPhone users are more loyal than Android users when it comes to the Kohl's shopping app. 4.2 million MAU are iPhone shoppers, who spend about 22 minutes in the app each month. The Kohl's iPhone app has an average monthly open rate of 60%, while Android is only at 51%.


  • Total monthly active users: 5.2 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 42%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 33 minutes

Although Etsy's active users are almost split down the middle, the average monthly open rate is 53%—nearly 1.7x the iPhone open rate; however, Etsy iPhone app users spend about 38 minutes in the app each month—10 minutes more than Android users.


  • Total monthly active users: 4 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 37%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 9 minutes

Although 2.4 million MAU use the Target iPhone app, Android users open it and use it more on a monthly basis. The Android open rate is 43% compared to iPhone's 32%, and Android shoppers spend 10 minutes more in the app every month (14 minutes on Android vs. 4 minutes on iPhone).

The Home Depot

  • Total monthly active users: 3.1 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 40%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 20 minutes

Slightly more Android shoppers use The Home Depot app with 1.7 million MAU, and nearly half of Droid downloads are opened each month. However, iPhone users spend about 22 minutes in the app monthly, 5 minutes more than Android users.


  • Total monthly active users: 2.8 million
  • Average monthly open rate: 42%
  • Average monthly time spent in app: 9 minutes

Kroger has a much more loyal Android user base. Each month, 1.6 million Android shoppers use the mobile app and spend about 17 minutes engaging with it, while the 1.2 million iPhone users don't even spend 1 minute using the app. Nearly half of all Android app downloads are opened every month—only 35% iPhone app downloads are opened monthly.

Based on these top shopping apps, Android users tend to have a higher average monthly open rate (53% on Android vs. 46% on iPhone); however, the average time spent in the app each month is about 25 minutes on either device.

If you're looking for inspiration to create or optimize your mobile shopping app, these 10 retailers know what they're doing.

Learn more about apps

Take a look at why people download and use mobile apps. (Fun fact: People say they're faster and easier to use than sites.)


Creating or optimizing an app?

We'd like to help! We were named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" in app development


Topics: Trends Solutions Apps

New Apps to the BBI in 2016

According to the BBI, Steve Madden, True Religion, Calvin Klein, Lush Cosmetics, and Warby Parker launched mobile apps in 2016.

The Branding Brand Index measures e-commerce experiences using data from the shopper's perspective, and according to the BBI, retailers—particularly those in the apparel and accessories industry—realized the important role of apps in their omnichannel strategy this year.

FREE DOWNLOAD: How to Get Consumers to Download and Use Your App

In 2016, most of these brands developed apps for both iPhones and Android smartphones, and based on their ratings and reviews, each brand seems to have executed their mobile app strategies well:

Steve Madden BBI
  • iOS: 4.5/5
  • Android: 4.3/5
Lush BBI
  • iOS: 4.5/5
  • Android: 4.7/5
Calvin Klein BBI
  • iOS: 4.5/5
  • Android: 4.6/5
True Religion BBI
  • iOS: 5/5
  • Android: 4.5
Warby Parker BBI
  • iOS: 4.5/6

86% of consumers download shopping apps at least once a month, which means that mobile apps will be even more important to retailers and their customers, especially with fake apps have surfacing in Google Play and the App Store. 

With an average rating of 4.6, the Steve Madden, Lush, Calvin Klein, True Religion, and Warby Parker apps are a good starting point for brands looking to release or optimize a mobile app.

Learn more about apps

We surveyed 1,000 app users to understand why shoppers download and use apps. Contact us when you're ready to launch one of your own.


Branding Brand is the retail industry's leading digital commerce platform, powering mobile apps, sites, and in-store shopping experiences for over 200 enterprise brands and was named a Gartner "Cool Vendor" of apps.

Topics: BBI Solutions Apps

[INFOGRAPHIC] The Most Popular In-App Holiday Purchases

Holiday 2016: Top In-App Purchases

This holiday, shoppers will be tapping—not checking—people off their gifting to-do list.

We know mobile plays a key role in the buyer's journey—it's the first place many people go to quickly research products and reviews. However, shoppers are increasingly going from browsing to buying in retailers' apps. Shoppers prefer apps over websites because they're faster, more convenient, easier to use, and have better deals on products. 


The Top 3 Holiday Gifts Purchased In-App

Let's zoom in on the most popular products to purchase in-app:

1. Apparel & Accessories
56% of shoppers say they'll gift apparel or accessories this holiday. 59% say they've purchased apparel and accessories on an iPhone app in the past, which suggests that fashion products will be the most purchased gifts in mobile apps this season.

2. Electronics 
51% say they've purchased electronics on an iPhone app in the past, while 45% plan to gift electronics. This overlap suggests in-app electronics purchases will be popular this year. 

3. Tickets, Books, & Music 
56% of shoppers say they've purchased entertainment tickets on an iPhone app, while 43% plan to gift books, music, and entertainment products this holiday. 

This season, consumers want streamlined experiences in store, in app, and online. In-app purchases don't necessarily happen while lounging on the couch— 74% say they use apps while waiting in line. While in-app purchases are more popular than ever this holiday, the key to winning over consumers is through a strong omnichannel strategy that merges the online and in-store experience. 

Holiday 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

We discovered what people plan to browse and buying during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Check out what we found in the survey results. 


Cyber Five 2016: Consumer Shopping Survey

People who purchased holiday gifts between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday revealed what they thought of their online and in-store experiences. Take a look at the survey highlights to find out how shoppers felt about this year's Cyber Five.



Topics: Trends Survey Holiday Solutions Apps

Test Your Optimization IQ: Displaying App Categories

Test Your Optimization IQ

We surveyed app shoppers and showed them an app homepage displaying shopping categories:

  • Test A: app category list
  • Test B: app category thumbnails
  • Test C: app category banners

Can you guess which version shoppers thought was the easiest to find what they were looking for?

Select a test to reveal the winner:

Test A: ListTest B: ThumbnailsTest C: Banners

Topics: Design Solutions Apps