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Mobile Shopping: Websites Still More Popular Than Apps. Which One Do You Use?

According to Nielsen, mobile shopping has captured 60% of smartphone users. After surveying around 5,000 users, mobile websites are are beating apps when it comes to conversion — from research to finding retail locations to coupon redemption. A key insight from this research found that smartphone owners of both genders prefer retailers’ mobile websites over mobile apps, with men slightly more likely to try retailers’ mobile apps than women. However, consumers who use retailers’ mobile apps tend to spend more time on them.

In the chart above, the fact that mobile websites trumping apps is not at all a surprising. Due to the limited real estate space on the mobile screen, apps are sometimes oversimplified which reduces functionality overall amongst other issues.

My personal experience with Amazon and eBay apps have not been as fulfilling which resulted in my uninstalling the apps and reverting to using the mobile website version through Dolphin Browser. It’s  just faster, less fiddly, has more functionality and the display and UX is exactly like the website — plus it’s just more familiar to navigate. It’s also much harder to have a clear image of size specific items like clothing, shoes and accessories when dealing with a much smaller screen.

However, apps would have an advantage when it comes to shopping for non-personalized items like movie tickets and car reservations.

According to John Burbank, President of Strategic Initiatives at Nielsen, “Retailers need to think of their business as a multi-channel environment that can potentially include mobile, online, and bricks and mortar stores.”

If we were to look at it from a developers or retailers point of view, it still makes more sense to focus on a developing an amazing mobile site — after all, it is platform independent and does not require any downloads or constant upgrades.

While the web is global, the mobile is almost completely local when it comes to searches. When you search for something on your mobile phone, it’s the website that shows up and not the app. This is probably another reason why websites is still more popular — instant gratification and results is the driving force for mobile based transactions.

So which one do you prefer when you research and shop? Through a retailer’s website or their app?

Source: Nielsen / Image: The Drum

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