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Key takeaways from Q4 2020 Digital Shopping Performance Report by Semrush

2020 is probably remembered by all of us as an exceptional year, not necessarily in a good sense. Many aspects of life were transferred to the Internet, and it was hard to adjust to at first. However, as the data show, the ecommerce industry is nothing to complain about. Their performance have crossed the border, and they hope to stay at this level. What was the last quarter of this peculiar year like

Together Semrush and Apptopia have prepared a report that illustrates how brands have taken advantage of this popularity. This data comes not only from internet sites but also from mobile applications. That is why both ecommerce and mcommerce enthusiasts will find information for themselves. If you are interested in the full report, you can download it here.

Digital performance leaders

The fourth quarter is quite a special time every year. This is when Black Friday, Blue Monday, and Christmas shopping take place. So it is the time when a good placement of the offer can be even more beneficial. No wonder Amazon took over Q4 2020. It has won the internet and mcommerce. This marketplace has a wide products’ range; from cosmetics to mobile phones. It was a clear choice for people looking for the best offers or scrolling boredom during the quarantine. If you can find everything in one place, why continue searching. It is very possible that the real game-changer for Amazon was the availability of products that could be missing in stationery stores (if they were open).

As you can see, overall, Amazon and eBay won the market. It means marketplaces were the number one choice. Next comes Walmart, where the selection is likewise quite broad and varied. 

In the case of a mobile app – Shoppee was ranked second. It is an online shopping platform that operates in South Asia, Taiwan, and Brazil. 

So speaking of apps, Amazon was the most often downloaded app worldwide, then comes Shopee and SHEIN – online clothing store. In the US, the leader was Walmart, then Amazon and Shop app which is a kind of shopping assistant app. 

Compared to 2019, the leaders in the number of mobile application sessions remain unchanged. The results below are from the Shopping app and include an iOS device only. China is the undeniable leader here. It is followed by the United States and India. The entire top three increased their in-app purchases compared to the previous year, but in the case of India, it is not a drastic difference.

In the case of total visits during Q4 2020, there is also one leader, Amazon. It won the hearts of British people, Germans, and practically the rest of the globe.

After briefly analyzing this part of the report, the conclusions are almost immediately apparent. Marketplaces ruled the last months of 2020.

Analysis of web traffic 

Since the internet had so taken over our lives in 2020, it is important to analyze where individual users come from. As you can see, about half of the traffic was direct traffic. Social media generated the lowest traffic.

Staying on the topic of social media. They are not a key channel for ecommerce, which does not mean that they are important. It is worth noting a few differences throughout the year. YouTube has grown in importance, generating only 10% less traffic than the king of social media, Facebook. Last year was a year of vloggers and influencers who made the monotony of the lockdown more pleasant with their content.

An interesting insight is also user analysis. In terms of the top 5 ecommerce, more users are men than women (the exception is Etsy), while the age issue is not a surprise – users aged 25-34 predominate, but as you can see, older groups like 65+ also did shopping online.

Who did run the US market?

What was the matter on the American market? Which stores were the most popular, and which applications won the hearts of American consumers? The number of app downloads has increased significantly, comparing with 2019. Walmart was the most downloaded app. 

By contrast, Belk was the application with the highest growth rate. Its changes, such as the improved interface or quick filtering, made the application an invaluable help during pandemic shopping. 

2020 can also be safely called the year of love for home renovation. Many US residents took up this aspect of life during the lockdown, which can be seen in the results of the downloading numbers – Lowe’s and BJ’s Wholesale Club are in the podium. 

Another interesting case is C2C applications. Most likely, it was to the aftermath of the pandemic cleanup that took place in many homes. Things that were no longer of use landed on such pages looking for a second life. It was a popular solution because especially the price encouraged consumers. And it was the economy that worried many Americans, so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to save some coins.

Etsy gained a lot in 2020. Many hand-crafted items (especially face masks) were sold there. However, OfferUp surpassed even eBay in consumer smartphones in the US.

Coupon websites or savings app and sites are popular mainly during the high shopping season. Undoubtedly, the end of the year is such a time. This can be seen from the download trend. Fetch gained fans the fastest, then Ibotta and Honey. In the case of sites – couponxoo.com was the leader.

What is going to happen in 2021?

As the previous year taught us, we can predict, and fate will do its job anyway. But, we can assume that Q1 2021 will keep both ecommerce and mcommerce popular. Perhaps the brands learned from last year’s experience will focus even more on developing their online business.

Regardless of what 2021 brings, there are a lot of lessons to be learned from analyzing the end of the previous, what a special year.