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Report: Mobile Web Tops Apps for Retail

Fri, 03/09/2012 - 7:09am
Andrew Berg

Consumers more often turn to a company's mobile website than to an app for shopping, according to a report conducted by Nielsen that tracked the shopping habits of 5000 iOS and Android users.

Nielsen found the retail mobile websites are more popular than retail apps, and Amazon's is the most popular retail mobile website of all.

Behavior split slightly along gender lines, the survey found. Of those that did try a retailer's app, men were more likely than women to do so. Target and Walmart skew female when it comes to their mobile websites, while Best Buy skews male. Amazon and eBay appeal to both genders.

All of the Top 5 mobile retail websites experienced a "bump" during the days leading up to and following Black Friday, led by Amazon. This seasonal lift did not translate into an increase in regular usage, however. By January, active reach was back to October 2011 levels.

John Burbank, president of strategic initiatives at Nielsen, said mobile retail is only going to continue to grow as smartphone adoption increases.

"Retailers need to think of their business as a multi-channel environment that can potentially include mobile, online, and bricks and mortar stores," Burbank said in a statement. "Winning with shoppers requires a consistent experience across channels that reinforces the values you represent as a retail brand, whether it be price, service, reviews, selection, style, or other key attributes."

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