Shopping Anytime, Anywhere; The App & Mortar Economy

According to a new report from Flurry Analytics, The top 10 global retailers are made up of 5 from the U.S. and 5 from Europe, collectively driving annual revenue in excess of $1.1 trillion. The U.S. Commerce Department estimates that U.S. domestic revenue exceeded $4.7 trillion in 2011 and is growing. Two thirds of the U.S. GDP, the world’s leading economy, comes from retail consumption.

Now the retail industry is colliding with the mobile app economy. According to a recent IBM report, says Flurry, more than 18% of shoppers used a smartphone or tablet to access a retailer's website on Cyber Monday in 2012, an increase of 70% over 2011. Mobile made up 13% of total web-based purchases. The App & Mortar economy has arrived, concludes the report.

The Flurry analysis measured time spent by consumers across more than 1,800 iOS and Android shopping apps from December 2011 to December 2012.  Shopping apps were found predominately within the Shopping category on Google Play, and within the Lifestyle and Food & Drink categories in the Apple App Store. “Shopping” is broken down into five sub-categories:  Retailer Apps, Price Comparison, Purchase Assistant, Online Marketplace and Daily Deals.  Let’s take a look at how time spent in shopping apps is growing.

Growth in Time Spent by Shopping App Category (% Growth 2012 vs. 2011)

Shopping Apps

% Growth 12/12 vs. 12/11

Retailer apps


   Price comparison


   Purchase assistant


   Online marketplace


   Daily deals


All shopping apps


All apps


Source: Flurry Analytics, January 2012

Examples of the kind of apps across shopping sub-categories in this analysis include:

  • Retailer Apps: Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Victoria’s Secret, Gap, Saks 5th Avenue
  • Price Comparison: RedLaser, Grocery iQ
  • Purchase Assistant: ShopSavvy, ShopAdvisor
  • Online Marketplace: eBay, Amazon
  • Daily Deals: Groupon, Living Social

Retailers saw the greatest increase in time spent, from a share of 15% of time spent by consumers in shopping apps in 2011 to 27% in 2012.  The growth in retailer app share has come at the expense of Daily Deals, down in share from 20% in 2011 to 13% in 2012, and Online Marketplace apps, which contracted from 25% in 2011 to 20% in 2012. Retailers are beginning to better respond to the shift created by the collision of online meeting offline shopping through mobile apps, says the report.

Time Spent by Shopping Category (December  2012)

Shopping Category

% of Respondents



Online marketplace


Purchase assistant


Price comparison


Daily deals




Source: Flurry Analytics, January 2012

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, notes the report. In the new mobile app economy, devices are always with you, always on and always connected. Consumers can be intercepted in store aisles and even on their way to the cash register. There are apps to scan an item, select size and color, and then have it shipped to your home, conveniently, quickly from the phone you have in your pocket. Apps are connected to credit cards and can have shipping info on file. In the new App & Mortar economy, they serve as virtual, portable show rooms that consumers can use to shop anytime, anywhere.

For additional information from Flurry, please visit here.




Next story loading loading..