Smartphone Owners Choose Retailers’ Mobile Sites Over Apps

March 13, 2012

This article is included in these additional categories:

Analytics, Automated & MarTech | Brand Metrics | Data-driven | Men | Mobile Phone | Retail & E-Commerce | Telecom | Women

nielsen-retail-mobile-apps-sites-active-reach-mar2012.jpgDuring the 2011 holiday season, the top 5 retailer mobile websites had far greater reach among US smartphone owners than the top 5 retailer mobile applications, according to March 2012 analysis from Nielsen. While the active reach of the top 5 retailer mobile applications hovered between 24% and 28% between October 2011 and January 2012, the top 5 mobile websites reached between 45% and 51% of smartphone owners during the same period. Overall, the top retail apps and websites combined – Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Walmart – reached 59% of smartphone owners during December 2011.

Gender Differences Exist Among Top Mobile Site Visitors

nielsen-top5-retail-mobile-sites-gender-composition-march2012.jpgThere was a strong variation in the gender composition of visitors to the top mobile websites in December 2011. Males made up the lion’s share of visitors to the Best Buy mobile website, at 61%, and a slight majority of the visitors to eBay’s mobile website (51%). By contrast, visitors to Amazon’s mobile website skewed slightly female (52%), while women made up a much larger proportion of both Walmart (58%) and Target (65%) visitors.

Men and women also display different patterns of smartphone shopping behavior while in a retail store, according to a February 2012 report from comScore. While women are more likely to engage in a variety of social activities, men are more likely to use their smartphone to find information.

Amazon Has Highest Reach

Data from Nielsen’s analysis indicates that all of the top 5 mobile websites experienced a boost in the days leading up to and following Black Friday. During this period, Amazon’s reach crossed the 20% threshold, while no other retailer was able to break 10% reach. The seasonal lift did not hold throughout the holidays, though, as reach dropped back down to October 2011 levels by January 2012. During January, Amazon’s reach hovered around 15%, ahead of eBay, at roughly 5%, and the other retailers, at less than 5%.

Other Findings:

  • Overall, smartphone owners of both genders preferred retailers’ mobile websites over their mobile applications, with men slightly more likely than women to try retailers’ mobile apps.
  • Consumer who used retailers’ mobile apps tended to spend more time on them than consumers who used retailers’ mobile websites.

About the Data: Nielsen’s data is based on its metering of the smartphones of 5,000 US volunteers participating in Nielsen’s mobile research.

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