Earlier this week we hinted at an interesting phenomena - in the lead up to the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S., we don’t see any shopping apps surging in rank position. We expect this to be a different story later in the week as crowds prepare to storm the doors of some of the nation’s largest retailers.

For publishers outside the elite group dominating the charts there is plenty to be thankful for in terms of upward mobility. There are untapped mobile opportunities for supermarket and drugstore chains such as Kroger, Walgreens, CVS and Albertsons.

Strongholds are under attack by retailers such as Amazon and Jet with programs like Subscribe $ Save, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Now. Learning from the likes of Cartwheel and Google Express partnerships are good exploratory steps before the drones come for them.

We reviewed the top shopping apps in iOS and noticed a diverse mix of new and old, David and Goliath, aggregator and destination.

Top 10 iOS Shopping Apps.png

Virtually all of the top 10 focus on some kind of discount hunting, whether it be Walmart’s traditional scale or Amazon’s channel efficiencies. Jet, the Amazon competitor that Walmart purchased earlier this year, has not cracked the top 10. Then there’s relative newcomer Wish, the bold roll-up of Chinese suppliers pairing ludicrously cheap commodity products with prolonged shipping times. It is the anti-Amazon of digital retailers. Target, the second largest general merchandiser, is represented only via its deal app Cartwheel, joined by broader couponing app RetailMeNot.


But just above eBay (#10) are Letgo and OfferUp, two apps that have been in the hot local peer-to-peer commerce space rivaling Craigslist. Their presence running up to the holidays remind us not only that consumers are seeking out alternative sources of products heading into the holiday season, but that they are seeking ways to raise cash for it as well. Letgo has consistently outperformed OfferUp in global downloads although the latter topped the top-grossing iOS shopping list this week.

The mix represents a contrast from the top grossing global retailers as of the beginning of 2016 according to STORES Magazine.

Top 10 global retailers.png

Dominated by brick-and-mortar chains, Amazon.com is the only digital “pure play” in the batch even as it sullies that presence with mall kiosks, which have been focused primarily on selling its own branded electronics. Retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s certainly have a high percentage of their business in products that are considered purchases more likely to be researched online and purchased in stores.


AuthorRoss Rubin