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EBay takes top spot as most-used shopping app: Nielsen

August 9, 2012

EBay topped the list of most frequently used shopping applications in the month of June, beating out Amazon and Groupon, according to a new study from Nielsen.

During the month of June, eBay’s app brought in more than 13 million unique users, per Nielsen. The report also found that 47 percent of smartphone owners in the United States used a shopping app in June, representing 45 million users.

“Usage of shopping apps is on smartphones is growing in a big way,” said Don Kellogg, director of Telecom Insights at Nielsen, New York.

“Just six months ago 34 million smartphone users were engaging with shopping apps and now we’re up to 45 million total users and almost half of Android and iOS users. Those are big numbers,” he said.

“Based on the growth we’ve seen, going into the holiday shopping season it is likely that the majority of smartphone users are going to have a shopping app installed on their device.”

Shop on mobile
The study was conducted with a panel of more than 5,000 iPhone and Android users.

Nielsen’s study found that the average smartphone owner accessed shopping apps an average of 17 times per month, showing how consumers are both proactively researching products and buying from their devices.

The average time spent per consumer throughout the entire month was one hour and four minutes.

To compare, Amazon ranked as the No. 2 shopping app with approximately 12 million users. The average time spent per consumer during the month was around 18 minutes.

Rounding out the top five apps were Groupon, Shopkick and LivingSocial, bringing in 11.9 million, 6.5 million and 4.4 million users, respectively.

Out of all of the apps, consumers spent the most time in Shopkick with a monthly average of three hours and 19 minutes, meaning that the app is most likely being used for long periods of time while consumers shop in-store. The high number also indicates that consumers are using Shopkick and other apps to help navigate the in-store shopping experience.

Big-box retailers Walgreens and Target also made the cut of top 10 shopping apps, showing that apps do have a place for brands’ loyal consumers.

EBay-owed RedLaser was the No. 8 most-used shopping app in June, pointing to how consumers are using apps to comparison shop while in stores.

The Out of Milk and SavingStar Grocery eCoupons apps also made the list.

App nation
The high traffic and numbers from Nielsen show how brands are taking advantage of apps to build a closer, one-on-one relationship with consumers.

The research also points to well-known apps such as eBay having some longevity on a consumer’s device, with consumers using apps multiple times per month.

With more consumers comparison shopping while in-store, the study’s results show how aggressive online retailers have gotten in the mobile industry with all-in-one apps to direct revenue away from bricks-and-mortar stores to online sales.

Mobile is also slated to make a big dent in online commerce in the next few years with both brand and third-party apps playing a large role.

ABI Research predicts that by 2017, 24 percent of online sales will be driven from mobile commerce, for example (see story).

“Shopping apps give retailers an additional opportunity to reach customers beyond their physical locations and web sites. A good app should simplify the shopping experience, drive traffic and richen the relationship with the consumer,” Mr. Kellogg said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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