January 11, 2011, 10:35 AM

Mobile shoppers prefer m-commerce sites over apps, study finds

Two-thirds of respondents choose to shop via the mobile web than through an app.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Lead Photo

A new study from Adobe Systems Inc.’s Adobe Scene7 finds mobile consumers generally prefer to shop on a mobile web site than through a mobile app. Two-thirds of those polled say they prefer shopping via the mobile web over apps. However, when it comes to games, social media, maps and music, respondents prefer using apps.

Among all four of the categories examined—consumer products/shopping, media/entertainment, travel and financial services—respondents report equal satisfaction levels with their mobile browser and app experiences and spend nearly equal amounts of time interacting with each.

“While downloadable mobile apps have drawn considerable buzz, they do not appear to surpass the mobile web in user satisfaction and engagement,” the report says. “Overall, respondents report equal satisfaction levels with their browser and app experiences, and spend nearly equal amounts of time interacting with each.”

The report also finds mobile users are most satisfied with media/entertainment and consumer products/shopping sites and apps. The media/entertainment category is the most popular, with 97% of respondents reporting they had interacted with media content through their mobile devices in the last six months.

The study, conducted by Keynote Services on behalf of Adobe, surveyed 1,200 U.S. consumers across a range of age groups.

Comments | 2 Responses

  • Study by Adobe, not surprising. That does not ring true based on my experience at ruelala.com where adoption of a well engineered app is much greater than the m. site. While M. sites do have the advantage of accessibility they lack function and performance. Would love to see an analysis of the study. Are these 1200 consumers smartphone or tablet users versus feature phones. I do agree that mobile commerce applications in most cases would not surpass M. sites in satisfaction since so many are designed poorly, lack any functions or content that would engage the consumer beyond a simple commerce transaction. Most lack any real socialization (posting to facebook is not social commerce), rich fresh content and game like engagement to keep consumers engaged in the brand or retailers application. Its a great debate, mobile web versus apps and I believe that until the carriers improve the networks and HTML5 becomes a true working and adopted standard, apps are here to stay.

    • I disagree that m. sites lack function and performance and I don't think apps are not here to stay for mobile shopping. There is a lot that can be done utilizing new JavaScript techniques such as jquery mobile and jqtouch to make the m. site more engaging. If I was a retailer investing in a mobile site, I would put my resources into designing a solid mobile site, rather than an iOS app, Android app, and a mobile site.

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