It Is A Reflex Now: Almost Half Of Smartphone Owners Now Using Shopping Apps
Expect the battle over control of the consumer experience in store aisles to escalate considerably as we ramp up to the holiday this year. The latest survey from Nielsen released this morning shows that 47% of smartphone owners are using shopping apps as of June 2012.
Even more troubling for established brick-and-mortar retailers is that online retail brands (this year, we’re looking at you, eBay and Amazon) and startups (now we’re looking at you, Shopkick) are driving this usage, along with the daily deal brands. The top shopping app chart is below and at Nielsen’s site.
The top ten shopper apps in terms of overall reach are:
- eBay Mobile (13,161,000 unique users)
- Amazon Mobile (12,122,000)
- Groupon (11,942,000)
- Shopkick (6,481,000)
- LivingSocial (4,349,000)
- Walgreens (2,810,000)
- Target (2,215,000)
- RedLaser (1,889,000)
- Out of Milk Shopping List (1,735,000)
- SavingStar Grocery Coupons (1,573,000)
A few things are clear from the Nielsen top-line metrics. First, Target and Walgreens are the only major brick-and-mortar retailers to have top ten shopping apps. It is a testament to the development and promotional job that Target has done in this category. As for Walgreens, they have an incredible core feature in addition to deals and shopping: prescription renewals. But overall, endemic Web brands like eBay and Amazon have successfully ported their digital credibility to the mobile platforms much more effectively than physical retail has.
Nielsen sees 45 million smartphone users in June accessing the Shopping/Commerce app category. And this is a habit, not an anomaly. They are accessing these apps on average 17 times a month. eBay is at heart still an auction site, so it is not surprising that its per-month usage tips the scales at an hour and 4 minutes. But Shopkick clearly is onto something when it comes to shopper engagement, whether it is the gaming/loyalty element or the local deal hunting. Nielsen is clocking their average time spent as 3 hours and 19 minutes. Most of the other shopping apps are accumulating between 7 and 18 minutes of use a month, however.
One interesting category here is the daily deal. With a firm hold on mobile use for both leading brands, Groupon and LivingSocial, you have to wonder how mobile positions them for new models. There would seem to be untapped promise in their ability to tap into other location-based shopping services.
For retailers and marketers who didn’t get the red-flagged memo yet, mobile is a shopper reflex now.
It is the point when a platform becomes ritual, reflex, second nature that everyone has to take notice. When a technology weaves its way into everyday life, that is when it becomes a true medium.
That pop you just heard was a tipping point being passed.