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4.6 Billion Data Points Prove Black Friday is Won in September, According to New Liftoff Report

New mobile shopping app report shows the key to winning loyalty is to get consumers to make two purchases

Palo Alto, California, United States – WEBWIRE

PALO ALTO, Calif.--July 21, 2016--Liftoff, the leader in performance-driven mobile user acquisition, today released a new report providing surprising insight into behaviors and trends in the growing world of mobile shopping. Based on an analysis of 44 of the most popular shopping apps, the report revealed how seasonality, differences among genders, and the likelihood of repeat purchases plays into retailers’ mobile marketing strategy.

The study analyzed 4.6 billion impressions and over 1.9 million app-installs collected between May 2015 and April 2016, to find the following:

The way to win Black Friday is to acquire your customers in September.

Surprisingly, September turned out to be one of the strongest months for acquiring shoppers ahead of the holiday season. Traditional shopping months that are packed with back to school and holiday deals, like July, November and December, were actually the most expensive months to attain users. Acquisition costs during these months were as much as 70.5 percent more expensive than in September.

The cost per first purchase--a key metric for shopping app marketers--was $87 in September, the cheapest month during the year. More so, September had the third highest install-to-purchase rate of the year at 5.8 percent, making it the best time to acquire new mobile shoppers. For retailers trying to make headway this holiday season, boosting your user acquisition efforts in September and then focusing on re-engaging those users in November and December is a far more cost-effective approach.

Only customers that make a purchase twice are worth the acquisition price.

Moving beyond installs, only customers that make a purchase are worth acquiring--and gaining valuable shoppers is not cheap. In fact, marketers spend an average of $114 on acquiring a user who goes on to complete a purchase. Those who do end up making a purchase are extremely valuable, as the average mobile purchaser makes three or more transactions and spends an average of $68 per order within 5.5 months. Conversely, a big factor associated with the high acquisition costs is the fact that only 4.3 percent of users who install a shopping app go on to make a first purchase. Thus, it is exceedingly important that marketers understand how to move beyond installs and convert that small portion of users into repeat shoppers.

Men and women cost the same to acquire, but women are more likely and quicker to make their first purchase.

While marketers spend nearly the same amount acquiring both male and female shoppers, women are 27 percent more likely to make a purchase in a shopping app than men. Moreover, women are quicker to make their first purchase, taking just 4.5 days after install, compared to 6.8 days for men. Overall, getting to the purchase stage in a shopping app takes an average of 5.5 days, with the second purchase occurring 7.5 days later.

Although men and women have different purchase durations, when it comes to spending they are not that far apart. Males average $66 per purchase compared to $68 for women. Given this data, shopping app marketers should focus the most on engaging both male and female users within the first five days of install.

To learn more about Liftoff and view the complete findings, download the full report here:


This report analyzed data from 44 of the top shopping apps between May 2015 and April 2016. The benchmarks were generated from a set of app install campaign data comprised of 4.6 billion ad impressions, 1.9 million app installs, more than 365,000 post-install events, and $7.3 million in total ad spend. For the purpose of this report, purchase events include in-app purchases, subscriptions, and bank account connections.

About Liftoff

Liftoff is a performance-based mobile app marketing and retargeting platform which uses post-install user data to run true cost-per-action user acquisition and retention campaigns. Powered by advanced machine learning and lookalike targeting, Liftoff campaigns are optimized to drive actions beyond the install, like booking a hotel, making a purchase, or subscribing to a service. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Liftoff works with leading app publishers and brands.



Lauren Barlow

VSC for Liftoff

(415) 869-8629



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 shopping app

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