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Unpacking Retail App Ownership Trends Ahead of the 2021 Holiday Shopping Season

Team InMobi
Team InMobi
4 min read
Posted on October 14, 2021
Unpacking Retail App Ownership Trends Ahead of the 2021 Holiday Shopping Season

M-commerce is set to be bigger than ever before this holiday season, with consumers continuing to use their mobile devices to shop this year. In 2021, eMarketer predicts that m-commerce will grow by over 15% in the U.S. And InMobi’s own research from September found that more consumers plan to shop using their mobile phones, than the number of people who will shop in person. 

For retailers, it will be key this year to have as much sales as possible from their own mobile app. This way, they can cut out the middlemen and see max profit from mobile sales. In addition, it provides them with invaluable data on their customers. 

Retailers of all stripes will be keen to gain as many new app users as possible, but who specifically should they be targeting? To help them answer these questions, we looked at the data to see how different segments of consumers have been installing and uninstalling various kinds of retail apps over the past few months.  

Here is what we uncovered. 

Retail App Installers Across Segments 


In this category, most net new app installers were female. But a growing share of uninstallers of late were male. In the past two months, close to 70% of new app installers were female, while around 39% of uninstallers were male. In short, while grocery app owners have always been female, the news here is that it is expanding. 

In both the past two months and in the past year, the greatest share of new app installers was between the ages of 26 and 35. However, the greatest number of uninstallers were in this age group too.  

Home Electronics 

Surprisingly, most new app installers were female. And a greater share of uninstallers both in the past two months and in the past year were male. For example, in the past 12 months, close to 54% of new installers were male while around 47% of new uninstallers were male. And in terms of age, the greatest share of new app installers (and uninstallers) was between 46 and 55 years old. 

Sporting Goods 

This has historically been a male-centric category, and our data proves that out. In the past year, close to 62% of new app installers were men. Further, close to half of all new app installers (and uninstallers) in this period were between 26 and 45 years old. 


This is another female-dominated category, as over three-fourths of all app installers in the past two months have been women. The largest share of app installers in this period was between 46 and 55 years old (a common age of parents) although a significant share was also between 26 and 45 years old. 


Of all the categories we looked at, these apps, unsurprisingly, have the most female app users. In the past year, over 82% of all new app installers were women.  

This is also a younger-leaning category. Over 35% of new app installs in the past 12 months came from people between the ages of 18 and 35 (I.e., Gen Zers and Millennials). 


Regarding gender, the category is also skewing female. Over 70% of those who have downloaded these apps in the past year were women. And regarding age, there is an even split across the board, with most new app installers of late being between 46 and 55 years old. 

Interestingly, these apps have seen a notable boost in wealthy installers. While only around 8% of the total U.S. population makes over $200,000 a year, more than 12% of new apparel app installers in the past two months fall into this income bracket – perhaps this portends a boost in high-end apparel sales this holiday season? 

How To Acquire The Best New Users For Your Retail App 

As our data shows, there is not one typical retail app owner. Depending on the category and even on the app itself, the type of person who will download (or uninstall) an app can vary greatly. 

What does this mean for retailers looking to acquire new, valuable app owners in the lead-up to the 2021 holiday season? The key, as always, is to be hyper targeted. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to spend a lot of money to target someone who is unlikely to download your app – or who will just uninstall it without using it. 

This is just a small sample of the insights we have generated leading up to the 2021 holiday shopping season. For more detailed insights, including data unique to you, reach out today to schedule a chat

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