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Mobile Shopping: Top Apps, Retailer Websites, and More

August 10, 2012
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With smartphones now the majority of mobile phones in the US, shopping via mobile is more popular than ever: 47% of American smartphone owners used a mobile shopping app in June 2012, according to data from Nielsen.

Moreover, some 45 million smartphone owners used an app in Nielsen's shopping/commerce category during the month, accessing shopping apps 17 times on average.

Major brands already well-known for online buying were the most popular in Nielsen's category in June:

  • eBay and Amazon apps attracted 13.1 million and 12.1 million unique users, respectively.
  • Daily deal site Groupon was close behind, attracting 11.9 million users during the month.
  • Traditional retailers such as Target and Walgreens garnered mobile traffic (2.8 million and 2.1 million users, respectively) from savvy shoppers looking to find the best deals in their local retail stores.
  • Apps such as Shopkick, Out of Milk, and RedLaser rounded out the list of top 10 shopping apps, reflecting the unique opportunities for apps to engage shoppers in retail locations.

As for engagement, Shopkick took the lead, with users spending more than 3 hours using the app during the month (3:19:11). eBay Mobile was second, with users spending about an hour using the app during the month (1:01:02).


"Retailers are finding that consumers are willing to use smartphone apps to enhance their shopping experience, and this data shows usage of shopping apps is growing," said Don Kellogg, director of Telecom Insights at Nielsen

Smartphones Now the Majority

Smartphone owners now comprise the majority of mobile phone users, according to separate research from Nielsen: In March 2012, 50.4% of all US mobile subscribers owned smartphones, up from 47.8% in December 2011.


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  • by Rishi Fri Aug 10, 2012 via web

    The reason Groupon is so 'sticky' is because of its ability to "localize" its content. When it comes to developing a sticky shopping app, there are 2 things I recommend:

    1. Use a smartphone's "notifications" feature to advertise your latest deals. These notifications appear on the smartphone's home screen, so the user doesn't even have to open the app.

    2. Make sure your app "personalizes" its content, products, deals, and promotions to the user's demographic profile. This will increase the time spent on the app, while potentially increasing the total shopping cart value.

    We have a cheat sheet titled "8 Tips for Leveraging Mobile for Marketing" which can be accessed here: http://mdv.to/NmISj3

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