Battle of the Apps - SHEIN vs Walmart

Paul Neto

Battle of the online retail apps. SHEIN takes on Walmart.

In this instalment of the Battle of the Apps, we are looking at engagement of one of the rising retail apps - SHEIN and the retail giant Walmart. Mobile shopping is on the rise and some newcomers are starting to lead a charge against some of the largest retailers. While SHEIN and Walmart may have somewhat different customers and audiences, we thought regardless, these may present an interesting review of what new players can achieve.

While SHEIN has been around since 2008, it has been in the last few years and even more recently that consumers have been taking real note of this fast-fashion app. While consumers have moved online, they are becoming ready to spend their time shopping on their mobile devices. Purposely, we are not looking at desktop based activity.

If you haven't seen these posts yet, we start with how do we access this data. Using our Retro data collection technology, we had thousands of individuals share their actual app usage to provide some compelling insights. For a glimpse of this data, check out our MobileLife report from this past spring.

For this edition, we go with SHEIN as the winner. Here's why:

Across a group of individuals aged 18-25, the percentage of active weekly users is 18% for SHEIN and 23% for Walmart. While this would mean Walmart may win, what we've seen is this number jump 6.9% since our June edition of MobileLife.

Further, users spend nearly 3x the amount of time weekly on the SHEIN app versus the Walmart app with 31 minutes versus 12 minutes. We also like to focus on attention engagement metrics. The two of interest are the number of notifications per app, and the other as seen here is the number of times per week that the app is the first used when the phone is picked up. This we consider as purposeful engagement. When comparing these two apps, SHEIN has nearly 5x the number (24 vs 5).

For these reasons, we believe SHEIN deserves the win in this battle. While these apps aren't direct apples-to-apples comparison, it does highlight how engagement can vary within a vertical. Do you agree?

Be sure to follow this series as in upcoming battles we will start to look at how these evolve over time as new apps come become part of our device home screens.


Interested in this data? We have tons more. Head over and check out our Retro Storefront, explore this Retro data in detail, or check out more findings in our MobileLife report.