Is Black Friday Overtaking Boxing Day as the Biggest Retail Event for the UK’s Major Shopping Apps?

OguryBlack Friday trumped Boxing Day in 2018 in terms of app user activity for the Amazon Shopping app, the UK’s top shopping app.

  • Of the major shopping apps studied, Argos users were the most active and visited the app the greatest number of times each day.
  • John Lewis’ app user base grew steadily throughout the last two months of 2018, showing greater average growth than any other app — in line with the firm’s strong financial results from the festive period.

While the retail news in 2018 has been dominated by headlines about the decline of the high street, data suggests that retail apps are largely continuing to grow in popularity among UK shoppers.

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The data, collected by Ogury, a technology company specialized in mobile journey marketing technology, compared shopping app usage for five of the UK’s most popular retailers — Amazon, Asos, Argos, John Lewis and Groupon — over five day periods surrounding the two major retail events Black Friday (on the 23rd November) and Boxing Day.

Argos was an unexpected winner in both the Black Friday and Boxing Day sales. Although the Argos app has a significantly smaller user base than Amazon and Groupon, its users were more active on average than those for any other app. 20.4% of users were active on Boxing Day and 17.8% on Black Friday. What’s more, users visited the Argos app an average of almost twice as many times on both days as any other app — 5.8 times on Black Friday and 6.8 times on Boxing Day, with Amazon coming second with 3.5 average visits on Black Friday and 3.1 on Boxing Day.

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When it comes to the retail giant Amazon, owners of UK’s top retail app, Black Friday seems to have overtaken Boxing Day as the main shopping event for mobile users. 22.9% of Amazon Shopping app users were active on Black Friday, compared to 19.1% on Boxing Day. Users also visited the app an average of 3.5 times on Black Friday, compared to 3.1 on Boxing Day.

A similar pattern was seen with Asos, whose user engagement seemed to drop during the Boxing Day sales. The online fashion retailer recently released worrying news of falling sales, suggesting that the UK’s economic problems may not be limited to the high street. While user activity saw a relative spike on both Black Friday and Boxing Day, only 7.1% of users were active on Boxing Day, compared to 8.0% on Black Friday.

Meanwhile, one success story was John Lewis, with the average growth of its app’s user base for the two periods greater than that for all the other apps studied (at 0.4%, followed by 0.2% for Argos, then 0.15% for Amazon). Its number of active users and average sessions per user was also higher for Boxing Day than for Black Friday.

(The data has been gathered via Ogury’s Active Insights platform, examining data from UK mobile users over the periods from 20th to 25th November 2018 and 23rd to 28th December 2018.)

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