29% Buy Through An App, 46% From Mobile Web Site

When it comes to shopping, consumers are using mobile apps and mobile websites for different things.

While some savvy mobile users tap into the power of apps for all things related to shopping, others turn to reaching into websites from their mobile devices, in search of information or to buy things.

Some new findings from research powerhouse GfK MRI in a study sponsored by Blue Chip Marketing nicely highlight some of the different usage patterns.

The study looked at digitally savvy users, since they all had both a smartphone and a tablet.

The majority (56%) of consumers say a store app has influenced their product decision and many (47%) said it affected their brand decision.

But when they get to the store, a minority (42%) of consumers use the store app.

The research showed that U.S. consumers tend to use store apps for receiving coupons and checking out the stores’ regular sales items. Meanwhile, those using the store websites were looking for information and to make sure they’re getting the best price.

For actual purchases, significantly more (46%) use mobile sites than apps (29%) to make purchases. Here are the specifics in terms of what consumers use which for:

Retailer mobile apps:

  • 53% -- Get coupons
  • 37% -- See sales/circulars
  • 33% -- Redeem offers
  • 29% -- Make a purchase

Retailer mobile websites:

  • 50% -- Find store information
  • 48% -- Compare prices
  • 46% -- Make a purchase

Consumers also have a range of coupon apps on their tablets or smartphones. When asked what they have installed, here’s what GfK MRI found:

  • 68% -- Groupon
  • 34% -- Living Social
  • 32% --
  • 19% -- SavingStar
  • 18% -- IBOTTA
  • 14% -- Grocery IQ
  • 13% -- SmartSource
  • 12% -- CouponNetwork
  • 10% -- Cellfire

Interestingly, after shopping, consumers don’t tend to use mobile store apps, with only a small number (6%) of grocery, drug and home improvement shoppers saying they use an app for an additional brand experience, such as posting a review.

Store apps are used primarily before the consumer goes to the store, no matter the category, with 77% checking before going to a grocery store, 62% to a drugstore and 70% to a home improvement store.

Store apps and mobile sites clearly are being used, but the where, when and which one paint a more interesting picture.

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