While Target’s latest financial results show a company still able to capitalize on rising spending through the holiday season, real-life mobile usage data from GWS reveals that Target’s app usage has moved to the red:

  1. Year-on-year growth rate for minutes spent on the Target app, total sessions, and daily users all fell negative at the same time in January 2023 – a first in three years
  2. January 2023 saw daily sessions on the Target app fall 8% compared to the previous year
  3. Still, users on the Target app reached 4.3 million in 2022, up 92% since 2019 demonstrating demand for mobile led ordering and in-store services

As the company invests $100 million in its ecommerce offering, failure to address downward mobile growth trends may put this strategy at risk in 2023.

Mobile continues to have the potential to be the silver bullet for retail. New shopping app Temu is now the most downloaded app in the US, challenging other cut-price retailers to offer consumers a fluid shopping experience from their phones. GWS data shows Temu’s user numbers have surged 79% in the past few months, from 5.9 million daily users on 1st December 2022 to 10.5 million users 25th February 2023, making it a notable up-and-coming challenger in the US retail market, rising above Target yet not quite close to the other big hitters like Amazon and Walmart.

Consumers live and breathe through their smartphones. It’s clear that this is no different for retail, and if Target wants to continue to hit the target, the company should continue to place its mobile strategy at the forefront, or risk losing out to new challengers in 2023 and beyond.


Usage data was extracted from GWS’s One Measure Consumer Panel (OMCP). The OMCP is an opt-in consumer panel that measures mobile app usage and content, mobile network performance, and consumer perceptions. The OMCP collects consumer data anonymously from Android smartphones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whenever and wherever consumers use their devices. OMCP panelists (aged 18+) are recruited from the top 41 metropolitan areas across the US along with consumers located in less populated areas (overall covering 98% of the U.S. population). Approximately 54 million data points are generated daily by panelists. Data is anonymously collected and reported in aggregate for market research purposes only. All information collected is weighted to a user’s demographic representation of the U.S. population (aged 18+).

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Adam Hudson
Diffusion PR