May 8, 2013, 9:53 AM

56% of U.S. smartphone owners use mobile commerce apps

EBay, Amazon and Groupon are the top shopping apps, Arbitron finds.

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The majority of U.S. smartphone owners use mobile commerce apps, and spend a lot of time every month shopping via those apps, finds a new study from Arbitron Mobile, a subsidiary of Arbitron Inc. that uses an on-device software meter and panels of smartphone owners to measure mobile usage.

55.9% of U.S. smartphone owners used m-commerce apps in March—on average they conducted 30.8 sessions spending 91.0 minutes in the apps, Arbitron Mobile says. Shopping apps are more popular across the pond. 66.8% of U.K. smartphone owners used m-commerce apps in March—on average they conducted 54.5 sessions spending 134.8 minutes in the apps. 57.6% of smartphone owners in Germany used m-commerce apps in March—on average they conducted 32.1 sessions spending 74.3 minutes in the apps. And 52.5% of smartphone owners in France used m-commerce apps in March—on average they conducted 23.9 sessions spending 56.1 minutes in the apps.

The approximate number of members of each of the four smartphone panels is: U.S., 12,400; U.K., 6,700; Germany, 4,000; and France, 4,000.

The usual suspects took the top two spots among the most popular mobile commerce apps in the U.S. in March. 17.1% of U.S. smartphone owners used the app from eBay Inc.—on average they conducted 30.2 sessions spending 94.2 minutes in the app, Arbitron says. 13.5% of smartphone owners used the app from Amazon.com Inc.—on average they conducted 9.6 sessions spending 37.5 minutes in the app.

In March, 10.9% of U.S. smartphone owners used the app from Groupon—on average they conducted 8.7 sessions spending 22.7 minutes in the app. 8.3% of smartphone owners used Apple Inc.’s Passbook mobile wallet app—on average they conducted 2.7 sessions spending 2.0 minutes in the app. And 6.7% of smartphone owners used the app from Craigslist—on average they conducted 19.2 sessions spending 83.7 minutes in the app.

Amazon.com is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Mobile 400.

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