Mobile Retail Apps 2018

Strategies to Acquire, Engage and Retain Users

About This Report
Mobile retail apps are critical to succeed in today’s omnichannel commerce landscape, but many retailers are still behind the curve. This report provides an overview of the retail app market, successful tactics of the market leaders, and what retailers should do to get their mobile app strategies right.

Mobile apps drive an increasingly significant portion of Americans’ shopping and buying behavior. But many retailers were late to recognize the channel shift and now have mobile apps and corresponding marketing strategies out of step with consumers’ expectations. However, recent shifts in technology and better understanding around consumer behavior present a renewed opportunity to get a retail mobile app strategy right, take advantage of a fast-growing mcommerce market, and deliver an outstanding omnichannel experience for customers.

  • Americans spend the overwhelming majority of their mobile time within apps (86%), but many retailers remain focused on mobile web.
  • Most mobile users have just a few retail apps on their smartphones, favoring the largest retailers and putting those without an established app presence at a disadvantage.
  • App user acquisition, engagement and retention are challenges for many retailers as they look for the right value proposition to offer customers.
  • Emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR) and visual search offer new promise for retail apps as they evolve beyond simply reducing friction toward surprising and delighting their users.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

9expert perspectives

Insights from industry and company leaders.

Table of Contents

  1. A Resurgent Retail App Market
  2. The State of Mobile Retail Apps
  3. Full-Funnel App Marketing: User Acquisition, Engagement and Retention
  4. The Unique Advantage of Retail Apps
  1. The Future of Mobile Retail Apps
  2. Key Takeaways for Retailers
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Interviewed for This Report

Amy Vener
Retail Vertical Strategy Lead
Interviewed April 25, 2018
Steve Yankovich
Chief Product Architect
Interviewed May 3, 2018
Shawn Azman
Senior Vice President, Growth and Strategy
Interviewed April 19, 2018
Bryan Dunn
Vice President, Product
Interviewed April 25, 2018
Lauren Freedman
the e-tailing group
Interviewed April 16, 2018
James Meeks
Head of Mobile
Interviewed May 3, 2018
Maya Mikhailov
GPShopper, a Synchrony solution
CMO and Co-Founder
Interviewed April 17, 2018
Joyce Solano
Senior Vice President, Global Marketing
Interviewed April 19, 2018
Lexi Sydow
App Annie
Market Insights Manager
Interviewed April 18, 2018


Andrew Lipsman


Tricia Carr
Managing Editor, Interviews
Rahul Chadha
Senior Analyst
Rebecca Chadwick
Senior Researcher
Chris Keating
Research Director
Patricia Orsini
Senior Analyst
Yoram Wurmser
Principal Analyst

"Behind the Numbers" Podcast