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Technology/Services

More Consumers Using Shopping Apps

Increased time online means fewer trips to c-stores
Photograph: Shutterstock

WASHINGTON  More than one-third of consumers (35%) use shopping apps between two and five times a week, while 28% use them at least once a day, according to new survey data released by Visual Objects, a portfolio website based in Washington, D.C.

Visual Objects' data supports findings from another survey, which found that the number of retail apps on the average smartphone doubled within the past yearup to four. As more people download shopping apps, the more likely these apps are to occupy people's time. And more time at home using shopping apps means less time spent away from home and fewer fuel trips to convenience stores.

"A retail app that works well allows people to find what they're looking for and buy it quickly," said Bertrand Schmitt, CEO, chairman and co-founder of App Annie, an app analytics platform based in San Francisco.

When consumers use shopping apps, they are most likely to use an app from mass merchant retailers such as Target, Walmart or Costco (81%), pure online retailers such as Amazon or Overstock (77%) or apparel retailers (79%).

Additionally, consumers use retail apps to add value and convenience to their shopping experience: Nearly 80% of consumers (79%) use shopping apps when they are at home instead of on the go or in another store, Visual Objects' survey found.

Shopping apps allow consumers to browse goods and services in the privacy of their homes before making a purchasing decision; however, apps without fixed product offerings, such as apparel apps and convenience-store apps, are less likely to see habitual in-home use.

The apps that see the heaviest in-home use are pure online retailer apps (92%), mass merchant retailer apps (81%), apparel apps (79%) and convenience-store apps (62%).

Visual Objects surveyed 501 smartphone users who use retail apps at least once per month.

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