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Amazon’s mobile site has highest reach among retailers: Nielsen

March 14, 2012

Amazon offers shoppers both a mobile Web site and apps

Amazon is the most popular mobile retail site, reaching between 15 percent and 20 percent of smartphone owners during the holidays, according to a new report from Nielsen.

In December 2011, the top-five reaching mobile retail sites reached 51 percent of smartphone users while their apps reached 28 percent. The top-five reaching mobile retail sites and apps are from Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Walmart.

“Having a mobile site is an early-entry point and at bare minimum, a brand needs to support mobile. In order to differentiate and capture more loyalty, users and revenue, they need a good mix of mobile web, native apps, hybrid, tablet support — basically a multichannel offering that engages with their customer from any point/device,” said Bjorn Hildahl, vice president of product management at Kony Solutions, Orlando, FL.

“With multichannel support also comes the ability to provide additional features like augmented reality, bar code scanning, location-based services, camera and social media integration,” he said.

Mr. Hildahl is not affiliated with Nielsen and spoke based on his experience in mobile site development.

Mobile Web trumps apps
Combined, the top-five mobile retail sites and apps reached 59 percent of smartphone owners in December, showing that the majority of smartphone owners used their devices for shopping during the 2011 holiday shopping season.

The numbers indicate that mobile shopping has reached scale as users increasingly use their devices for researching products and reviews, comparing prices, finding retail locations and redeeming coupons.

Amazon, Target, Walmart and Best Buy all saw a significant increase in the reach of their mobile sites in the days leading up to Black Friday.

Amazon’s mobile site reached close to 25 percent of smartphone users during this period.  The reach for all of the other retailers was below 10 percent.

By January, active reach for each of the retailers was back to October 2011 levels.

In January, the top five mobile retail sites combined reached 45 percent of smartphone owners while the top-five apps reached 24 percent.

Gender specific
Other findings include that smartphone owners of both genders prefer retailers’ mobile site over mobile apps. However, men are slightly more likely to try retailers’ mobile apps than women.

By gender, the mobile audience for Target’s and Walmart’s mobile sites skews more female while for Best Buy it skews male. Amazon and eBay appeal to both genders.

Nielsen monitored the smartphones of 5,000 U.S. volunteers during the 2011 holiday season.

“It is important that retailers make the right choice at the platform level,” Mr. Hildahl said.

“For example, Kony provides a platform that supports all technologies, yet does not degrade or compromise on the user experience,” he said. “That way you are reaching the widest audience possible regardless of device, operating system and channel.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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