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Time spent on mobile shopping apps shot up 274% in 2012

Retailer apps saw 525% increase year to year

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 26, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2d28

Retailers know that shopping is going mobile. During this year's Cyber Monday, the biggest online spending day ever, more than 18% of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer's website, an increase of over 70% from 2011. Mobile sales accounted for nearly 13% of all online sales, an increase of more than 96% from 2011. 

Retailers are attempting to capitalize on the growing number of people who are shopping on their phones and tablets by enchancing their retail apps, adding in features that include allowing customers to scan items to have it shipped to their home, as well as pay with apps  that are connected to their credits cards. Depending on the store, users can also create wish lists, access videos, send e-cards and see in-store maps of where they are shopping. 

And those efforts seem to be paying off. From December 2011 to December 2012, time spent on mobile shopping apps went up nearly three fold, according to a report from mobile analytics company Flurry released Friday, and time on retail apps absolutely exploded.

For the report, Flurry measured time spent by consumers across more than 1,800 iOS and Android shopping apps from December 2011 to December 2012.  Shopping was then broken down into five sub-categories:  Retailer Apps, Price Comparison, Purchase Assistant, Online Marketplace and Daily Deals.

Overall, time spent on apps grew 132%, year to year, while time spent  on shopping apps went up 274%. Every single shopping category went up by at least 100%.

Retailer Apps, which include Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, and Saks 5th Avenue, saw the biggest gain, shooting up an incredible 525% in a single year. Time spent on price comparison apps, like RedLaser and Grocery iQ, went up 247% and purchase assistant apps, like ShopSavvy and ShopAdvisor, saw growth of 228%.

The smallest gains came from online Marketplace apps, like eBay and Amazon, which had 178% growth, and Daily Deal apps, like Groupon and Living Social has 126% growth, lower than the overall growth of all apps.

Still, this should be encouraging news for an industry that is, in some ways, on the ropes. Groupon CEO Andrew Mason recently said that a third of all Groupon transactions now take place on mobile, even purchases for vacations and high-end goods. Daily Deal apps maybe be growing at a slower rate than other apps, but they are still growing.

On the other hand, Daily Deal sites might be concerned that their distribution of time decreased by 7% year to year, from a total of 20% to 13%. 

Online marketplace apps, and purchase assistant apps also saw less of a percentage of time, with a decrease of 5% and 1% respectively. Price comparison apps remained the same at 14%. 

As for retailer apps, the ones that saw consumers spending nearly six times as much time on then in 2012, their distribution of time shot up 12%, from 15% to 27%.

"The opportunity for retailers to extend their relationship with consumers outside the store has never been greater, or more mission critical," Flurry wrote. "Gone are the days when retailers should focus the majority of their marketing effort attracting consumers into stores, where 95% of all purchases take place."

"To keep dollars flowing through their cash registers, retailers need to re-examine the consumer relationship from the ground up and through the lens of mobile-first. In the App & Mortar economy, the battle for deeper consumer relationships is beginning. And there are already thousands of apps for that."

A record breaking holiday season

This report from Flurry reinforces what we already knew: that online shopping is going through the roof, especially on mobile.

During this year's Cyber Monday saw a record $1.46 billion spent. More than 18% of consumers used a mobile device to visit a retailer's website, an increase of over 70% from 2011, according to a report from IBM’s Smarter Commerce division. Mobile sales accounted for nearly 13% of all online sales, an increase of more than 96% from 2011.

Cyber Monday beat the record set by 2012's Black Friday, when shoppers spent $1.04 billion online, which is up 28% over the previous year, when shoppers spent $816 million.

Even Thanksgiving day saw a big boost, with both eBay and PayPal seeing huge gains in the number of mobile payments this year. For eBay, there was a 133% increase in mobile transactions on Thanksgiving compared to 2011. That number was even higher for PayPal, which saw transactions for go up a whopping 173% in the U.S.

Amazon even said that its 2012 holiday season was its best ever, at one point selling 306 items per second.
 

(Image source: http://internetretailing.net)


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