Dulles, VA – August 16, 2023: Following the Target earnings announced today, new mobile insights data reveals that Target’s daily active app users are down 8.6% over the same period last year.

Real-life consumer user data from mobile analytics and business intelligence firm GWS released today shows:

A broad decline in Target’s mobile app usage

Target has seen a fall of 8.6% in the number daily active users on its mobile app over the quarter —down from 4 million each day in Q2 2022 to just 3.7 million in Q2 2023.

  • The company averaged just 4 million daily active users on its mobile app in July 2023 – a 4.7% decline from the same time period last year.
  • The data reveals that female users saw the biggest decline in Q2 2023, down 14% compared to the same period last year. By comparison, male users of the app saw a smaller decline of just 4% over the quarter.
  • Despite the decline, there is some positive news for Target as mobile app users rebounded in July to 4 million – up from 3.5 million in June and 3.6 million in May 2023.
  • The data reveals that those aged 44 and younger are moving away from the app at the fastest rate, as Target’s daily active app users aged 18-24, 25-34 and 35-44 has declined 19%, 15% and 17% over the last quarter compared to the same period in 2022
  • In contrast, those aged 45-54 saw no decline in their use of the Target app over the quarter compared to the same period last year, and the number of daily active users aged 55 and above increased by 3%.

Walmart, Shein and Temu gaining ground on mobile

  • Whereas the number of daily active users on Target’s mobile app have dropped by 8.6% over the last quarter compared to the same period in 2022, Walmart has grown its mobile app usage by 5% over the same period. This is particularly significant as the data shows that 28% of Target’s mobile app customers are also Walmart mobile app customers.
  • Other challenger apps Temu and Shein have also seen increases in mobile app users – although they see a lower overlap with Target’s user base than Walmart.
  • Temu has added nearly 10 million new daily users since the turn of the year. Its growth has been so significant that it now ties for the second most used shopping app with Walmart at around 17 million daily users.
  • Shein has also seen impressive growth in 2023, increasing its daily users from 3.1 million to 4.9 million daily users over the past year.
  • Women also dominate both Temu and Shein’s user base. Over two thirds (69%) of Temu’s extensive audience are female. This rises to 90% of female users on Shein which has just 10% of men on its mobile app audience.

Dr Paul Carter, CEO of GWS commented: “Target’s app decline shows that all companies, from main street megastores to smaller shops, must adopt a mobile-first approach to shopping which consumers crave. Despite tough retail conditions, Walmart’s mobile app is on the rise, and given the overlap in user base between the two firms, it’s likely that this rise, as well as a boom in cheap shopping apps like Temu, is at Target’s expense. In recent days we’ve seen Target announce innovations to its app like the launch of its Starbucks Drive Up perk, showing the firm recognizes the importance of mobile-led retail, but more must be done to enhance its mobile experience and understand the needs and wants of its mobile audience if it is to thrive in the future.” 



All data was collected from GWS’ opt-in, app-engagement panel. This is a panel of real-life consumers who use their phones and tablet devices as normal throughout the day, so that the mobile analytics data GWS gathers provides the most accurate picture on the nation’s mobile connectivity experience. The panel collects consumer data anonymously from Android smartphones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whenever and wherever consumers use their devices. 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. adult population.

About GWS

For most consumers today, their mobile device is their life’s remote control. As an independent mobile insights consulting firm, GWS measures every aspect of how people live, work and play via their mobile devices – as well as how mobile network performance affects them.

Combining our market-leading network benchmarking technology and methodology with deep behavioural data, we help businesses and organizations to drive innovation and deliver better customer experiences through mobile insights, anywhere in the world. Championing the needs of mobile users by understanding and testing the things that matter to them, we’ve evolved our technology and services in step with the needs of industry and consumers for over 27 years.

For more information visit GWS here.


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