Woolworths is Australia’s most loved supermarket despite Coles’ million dollar ad spend

New data from market intelligence company Sensor Tower and its digital ad spend tracking platform Pathmatics, has revealed despite Coles spending almost $12 million more than Woolies in digital advertising over the past three years, Woolworths consistently takes the top spot in terms of app downloads.

Analysing the data over the past three years, Sensor Tower and Pathmatics data has revealed the following new insights.

App downloads

The Woolies app received over 3.5 million downloads between 2019-2022 to date. The Coles app received 2 million downloads during this period. 

Woolies have had a total of 778,00 downloads in 2022 so far, compared to Coles which has had a total of 609,000 downloads in the same period.

Moreover, January 2022 marked the busiest month of the year in terms of app downloads for Woolies with a total of 113,000 downloads.

The busiest month for Coles was June 2022, with a total of 79,000 app downloads during this month. February to April 2020 saw a significant spike in app downloads across both brands when the nation was in lockdown and Aussies had to get their groceries delivered.

Digital ad spend

Coles spent almost $55 million on digital advertising between 2019-2022 to date. During this period, Coles spent $2 million promoting garlic bread and parmesan cheese over a two-week period which was one of their best-performing ads.

Woolies spent $43 million on digital advertising over the same three-year period. Woolies spent $740,000 in one day promoting a Covid safe message encouraging shoppers to shop via their app during this period. This was one of Woolies top performing ads.

Commentating on the trends, Sensor Tower managing director, APAC, Tom Cui told Mumbrella: “Which supermarket bandcamp you fall into is a hotly debated topic in Australia and Sensor Tower data has revealed Woolies appears to reign supremacy, despite Coles’ significantly higher digital ad spend.

“Over the past three years, there have been significant shifts in the way consumers do their shopping, fast-tracking the movement to digital shopping and this trend looks to only continue. It’s never been more important for a retail outlet to have an optimised app experience, even when it comes to supermarkets, as Aussies have become accustomed to ease and convenience.

“Now we face another challenge – the threat of a recession. Whilst supermarket shopping is deemed a ‘necessity’, even the major stores could face challenges as inflation rises and purse strings tighten. At Sensor Tower, we’ll be tracking both consumer and brand behaviour as Australia weather this ongoing economic turmoil.”


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