The history of app commerce

Hunting & gathering


Goods are exchanged using coins, weighing scales, ledgers and mirrors.

Catalogue shopping & mass production

People shop at corner stores and use shopping catalogues.

The first ecommerce purchase is made

It was either a CD from NetMarket or a pizza from Pizza Hut – it’s debatable!

Ecommerce is starting to take off

The first ecommerce websites are mostly built from scratch.

‘Mobile commerce’ is coined

That year, Coca Cola introduces the first mobile payments in vending machines, where customers can pay via SMS.

The dot-com bubble bursts

Annual online retail sales leap to $43 billion despite the dot-com investment implosion.

Cyber Monday is born

Black Friday was always the biggest shopping day of the year, as online shopping became more popular, a new big shopping day emerged.

Apps enter the scene

Consumers can download apps. The Apple App Store, the first Android phone and the Google Play store become available. The App Store has over 10,000 apps within 6 months of opening.

Poq was founded

Once you go app you never go back.

Poq defines the term “app commerce”

Omnichannel’ hits the mainstream. This year also sees the launch of beacon technology and e-receipts.

Apple Pay launches

This was swiftly followed by Android Pay. Chinese online shoppers spend $9.3 billion on Single’s Day, making it the world’s biggest shopping day.

The rise of mobile shopping apps

The App Store launches a Shopping app category. Most online traffic now comes from mobile devices, and 40% of UK mobile revenue is from apps.

App commerce has arrived

Retailers are seeing their apps generate more revenue than the mobile web.

Performance metric Compared to mobile web Compared to desktop
Conversion rate 2x 1x
Revenue per user 5x 3x
Revenue per session 2x 1x
Sessions per user 3x 4x
Browsing time 3x 2x