KEY POINTS

  • Most mobile commerce dollars come from the mobile web, not apps. 58% of mobile retail dollars going to the top 500 mobile retailers will come from the mobile web this year, with in-app purchases accounting for the rest, according to Internet Retailer.
  • The mobile web is also how many consumers prefer to shop on a mobile device. 51% of shoppers were more interested in shopping on the mobile web over apps on their smartphones in 2013, according to Adobe data.
  • The mobile browser, which is often a gateway to retailer sites, is an important first stop for shoppers using their smartphones in a store. 82% of smartphone shoppers say they use a mobile browser's search function to research products when they're in a store, according to a 2013 study conducted by Google. Another 62% say they go directly to a retailer's mobile website, but only 21% use a retailer's mobile app in a store. 
  • Only 60% of the top 100 global retailers have a dedicated mobile website. In fact, 32% are still showing mobile users a desktop-optimized version of their website on mobile devices. And only nine of the top 100 retailers have a responsively designed site, the format recommended by Google.
  • Apps have their advantages though. They give retailers a marketing and sales opportunity they wouldn't have on mobile sites. For example, they can send push notifications alerting customers about offers happening locally, and collect data on shopper behavior. 
  • Large retailers should leverage both the mobile web and apps, because consumers use both. There is significant variation in how online audiences distribute their attention across specific retailers' mobile apps and websites. Home Depot sees almost all its mobile traffic from the mobile browser, while Amazon is much more app-dependent. The variation suggests that retailers are still looking for the right balance between the two mobile entry points. 

bii mobile web vs app timeBI Intelligence

Introduction

Mobile commerce is the breakout trend in retail.

  • Purchases made using a smartphone or tablet rose 48% [...]