Retail App Downloads Q1 2023: Chinese Apps Dethrone Amazon, Walmart in the US

Retail is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. With the advent of the digital age, retailers are taking a multi-channel approach to tap into broader markets, combining the power of physical stores and online platforms. Surprisingly, among giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba, it’s Chinese retailers that are making the most noise. According to the latest Sensor Tower report, Temu and SHEIN emerged as the top retail apps by downloads in the US in Q1 2023leaving industry giants Amazon and Walmart behind.

Let’s take a look at the list of the top retail apps in the United States by downloads and monthly active users, and how their rankings have changed in the first quarter ending March 31, 2023.

Top Retail Apps by Downloads in the US

  1. Temu tops the list of most downloaded retail apps in the US in Q1 2023, dethroning Amazon. The newly launched Chinese online retailer’s ranking jumped from 7th place in 2022 to 1st place in Q1 2023, showing remarkable growth and the growing popularity it enjoys among US consumers.
  2. SHEIN has been consistent in its ranking since 2021, securing second place on the list of top retail apps in the US by downloads in Q1 2023. SHEIN’s immense popularity among teens and young adults is no surprise, as this Chinese fashion online retailer offers the most stylish and affordable women’s clothing and accessories in the world.
  3. The retail giants, and Walmart, recognized as the world’s leading retailers in terms of revenue and market capitalization, have experienced a significant shift in demand among US consumers. Amazon, which ranked first in both 2021 and 2022, now ranks third among the most downloaded retail apps in the US in the first quarter of 2023. Similarly, Walmart fell from third to fourth place.
  4. Renowned sportswear brand Nike has been steadily dropping down the list of most popular retail apps in the US based on downloads. Each year, it falls one position, from fifth in 2021 to fourth in 2022 and to seventh in the first quarter of 2023.
  5. Alibaba, the prominent Chinese e-commerce giant, appeared in the top ten for the first time in Q4 2022 and maintained its position in Q1 2023.
Source: Sensor tower

However, the rankings of the top retail apps in the United States differ when considering usage by monthly active users. While download numbers provide valuable information about initial popularity, the number of app sessions and time spent are equally important factors to consider.

It is possible that certain apps that may not have the highest download numbers could have a strong user base and high levels of engagement, propelling them to higher rankings in terms of monthly active users. Therefore, to have a comprehensive understanding of the retail app landscape, it is important to take into account both the number of downloads and the usage patterns of monthly active users.

Top retail apps by monthly active users in the US

  1. Amazon’s continued reign as the top retail app in the United States by monthly active users during 2021 and 2022 is impressive. The year 2023, so far, is no exception either, as it also tops the list in the first quarter. Amazon’s reputation for reliable and timely delivery of products, along with exceptional customer service, has strengthened its position as the most trusted brand among Americans.
  2. In the first quarter of 2023, the rankings of eBay, SHEIN, and Walmart remain unchanged, maintaining their respective positions as the second, third, and fourth retail apps in the United States based on monthly active users (MAUs). This stability in their rankings suggests steady user engagement and continued popularity with consumers.
  3. Interestingly, Temu, which launched in September 2022 in the US, breaks into the list in Q1 2023 and knocks GOAT app out of the top 10.
Source: Sensor tower

In one word

The significant change in the US retail app download and MAU rankings reflects evolving consumer preferences and intense competition within the online retail industry. While the retail apps with the most downloads appear to be relatively new players, A contrasting picture emerges when we explore the retail apps that captured the most monthly active users in Q1 2023.

Interestingly, the US e-commerce retail sales projected to post 8% year-over-year growth to $272.6 billion in Q1 2023according to data from the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce.

The increase in downloads of retail apps like Temu can be attributed to the growing number of smartphone users, particularly teens and young adults, who are actively downloading it. However, it is important to note that high download numbers do not necessarily indicate that users are spending more time on these apps or keeping them on their smartphones.

On the other hand, well-established retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and eBay have been dominating the list of top MAU retail applications in the United States. These retailers have successfully built a strong reputation and customer loyalty over time.

SHEIN, however, stands out as an exception. It has managed to rise to popularity both in terms of downloads and usage, making it the most loved app among users since 2019. This could be attributed to SHEIN’s ability to successfully cater to the preferences of its target audience, especially in the field of affordable and economical services. stylish women’s clothing and accessories.

SHEIN has not only become the leader in terms of downloads among women’s clothing apps, but has also posted an exceptional user retention rate, which has resulted in a larger and more engaged user base compared to its competitors. Remarkably, approximately 34% of SHEIN users continue to engage with the app the day after downloading it, indicating an immediate high level of interest and satisfaction. While this number drops to around 18% after one week and roughly 8% after 90 days, SHEIN still manages to retain a significant portion of its user base for an extended period.

By contrast, its competitors like PrettyLittleThing, ASOS, Cider, and Chic Me report much lower retention rates that drop below 5% with a 90-day period.

So, as the battle for dominance continues, keep a close eye on the dynamics of the evolving retail app market in the US. Will the newcomers emerge as the undisputed market leaders with their flashy downloads, or will the gamers seasoned experts will maintain their reign through a legacy of customer trust? Only time will reveal the ultimate victor in this captivating retail saga.