September 19, 2012, 4:53 PM

Four of every five smartphone users accessed retail sites or apps in July

Amazon receives 49.6 million unique monthly visitors, comScore finds.

Lead Photo

The e-retailer's m-commerce site (above) and mobile apps were the most visited in retail in July, comScore finds.

Four of every five U.S. adult smartphone users, 85.9 million in total, accessed retail content on their device in July either through a mobile commerce site or mobile app, web and mobile measurement firm comScore Inc. finds in a new study. Amazon Sites led as the top retailer with an audience of 49.6 million unique monthly visitors, while eBay Inc. (32.6 million) Apple Inc. (17.7 million), Wal-Mart Stores (16.3 million), Target Corp. (10 million) and Best Buy Co. (7.2 million) also attracted significant numbers of mobile shoppers, comScore says.

“With nearly 86 million Americans now shopping on their smartphones, this pronounced shift in consumer behavior is simply too large for retailers to ignore, with the future of their business depending on how well they adapt to the new environment,” says Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. “But adapting isn’t always easy, especially when considering the complexity of the mobile environment, which requires optimizing the experience across multiple platforms and for both mobile web sites and apps. The retailers who best understand how consumers are engaging in mobile shopping behaviors and design their strategies accordingly will be best positioned to capitalize on these shifting market dynamics.”

Shopkick, a shopping rewards app that provides points for consumers who visit retail partners’ physical stores including Target, Macy’s Inc. and Best Buy, noted its mobile audience reached more than 4 million visitors in July, showing one way many consumers are turning to their mobile devices as part of their in-store shopping experience, comScore says.

Following are the top 15 retailers ranked by total July 2012 unique visitors in millions, with the percentage of total smartphone owners they reached, according to comScore:

  • Amazon Sites, 49.6, 46.6%
  • eBay, 32.6, 30.6%
  • Apple, 17.7, 16.6%
  • Wal-Mart, 16.3, 15.3%
  • Target, 10.0, 9.4%
  • Best Buy, 7.2, 6.7%
  • Ticketmaster, 5.7, 5.3%
  • CVS, 4.5, 4.2%
  • The Home Depot, 4.4, 4.1%
  • Blockbuster, 4.0, 3.8%
  • Barnes & Noble, 3.8, 3.6%
  • Walgreens, 3.7, 3.5%
  • Limited Brands, 3.3, 3.1%
  • Lowes, 3.2, 3.0%
  • Etsy, 3.2, 3.0%

Across both smartphones and desktop computers, males and females represented nearly equal proportions of retail category visitors, comScore says. However, females accounted for a higher share of time spent on retail destinations at 53.4% of minutes on desktop computers and an even greater share of retail minutes on smartphones at 56.1%.

Smartphone shoppers were also more likely to be younger than their desktop counterparts with 70.7% of smartphone retail visitors under the age of 45 compared to 61.1% of desktop users, comScore finds. Engagement among these audiences showed even greater disparity with visitors under the age of 45 accounting for nearly 75% of minutes spent on retail content via smartphones, compared with 61.6% of retail minutes on desktop computers.

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