Mobile Shopping – Mobile Web v Native App
‘Tis the season for shopping! People are hitting the stores, shopping online and, increasingly, using their mobile devices to get that holiday shopping done in time. According to a comScore study of mobile shopping in September 2011, mobile browser shopping is a favorite among smartphone owners with app-based shopping coming in second. Here’s what comScore has to say:
A look at how U.S. consumers accessed retail content via their mobile phones revealed various usage patterns across platforms. Nearly half of all smartphone owners used only their mobile browser to access retail content in September 2011, with 26% using just apps and 18% using a combination of access methods.
Apple iPhone users were more likely to access retail content via apps only (36%) when compared to Android users (24%).
It’ll be interesting to see this report recreated following the November-December shopping season. Just looking at Black Friday (one day) shows a significant mobile shopping jump over last year. IBM put out a Coremetrics Benchmark Report looking at Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Let’s concentrate on the Black Friday mobile stats (though they don’t go deep enough to separate mobile browser shopping from native app shopping):
The Mobile Bargain Hunter: Black Friday witnessed the arrival of the mobile deal seeker who embraced their devices as a research tool for in-store and online bargains. Mobile traffic increased to 14.3 percent on Black Friday 2011 compared to 5.6 percent in 2010.
Mobile Sales: Sales on mobile devices surged to 9.8 percent from 3.2 percent year over year.
The Apple Shopper: Mobile shopping was led by Apple, with the iPhone and iPad ranking one and two for consumers shopping on mobile devices (5.4 percent and 4.8 percent respectively). Android came in third at 4.1 percent. Collectively iPhone and iPad accounted for 10.2 percent of all online retail traffic on Black Friday.
The question as we move forward is no longer about online versus mobile shopping, it’s about mobile web versus native app shopping. Right now, it’s looking like mobile web might win.