April 16, 2013, 4:04 PM

Many more iPhone owners than Android owners use mobile commerce apps

EBay and Amazon.com are among the top m-commerce destinations, Arbitron says.

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A greater percentage of iPhone users (67.5%) use mobile commerce apps compared with Android smartphone users (43.9%), according to the Arbitron Mobile U.S. smartphone panel. IPhone users spend more time than Android users with mobile commerce apps (105.3 minutes per month versus 87.6 minutes per month) and conduct more shopping trips (35 sessions per month versus 29.5 sessions per month). Measurements were made in February.

These figures are in line with the trend that users of Apple Inc. mobile devices are more valuable to retailers than users of Android devices. The story is the same across retailers. For example, 78.59% of mobile sales at e.l.f. Cosmetics in Q4 2012 stemmed from Apple iOS devices while only 20.74% came from Android devices, the retailer reports. More than 70% of mobile traffic at web-only jeweler Ice comes from Apple devices, the merchant says. More than 90% of mobile sales stem from Apple devices at Wine.com, the e-retailer says. And at HauteLook, 50-55% of mobile traffic comes from iPhones, 40-45% from iPads, and less than 5% from Android devices, the retailer reports.

“While there are more Android users than iPhone users, our data shows that iPhone users tend to use their phone more than Android owners both in terms of number of sessions and time spent,” says Derrik Dennis, Arbitron Mobile’s director of sales and business development. “This is especially true with downloadable apps where iPhone owners spend 67% more time using these apps.”

EBay has the mobile app used by the largest share of Arbitron U.S. smartphone panelists—14.3%. EBay mobile shoppers used the app in 34.6 sessions during February for an average of one hour and 48 minutes in the month. Amazon.com’s app came in second, used by 13.0% of panelists. Amazon mobile shoppers used the app in 10.9 sessions during February for an average of 40.0 minutes in the month.

Groupon’s mobile app came in third, used by 11.1% of panelists. Groupon mobile shoppers used the app in 9.1 sessions in February for an average of 22.2 minutes in the month. Apple’s Passbook app came in fourth, used by 8.1% of panelists. Passbook users used the app in 2.6 sessions during February for an average 2.0 minutes in the month. And Craigslist’s mobile app came in fifth, used by 6.6% of panelists. Craigslist mobile shoppers used the app in 17.3 sessions during the month for an average of 80.4 minutes in the month.

Compared to mobile commerce apps, m-commerce web sites are accessed by a significantly larger share of U.S. smartphone panelists, but mobile consumers visit mobile sites less frequently and spend less time there, Arbitron says.

Amazon.com, the leading web site for smartphone commerce, is accessed by 34.7% of U.S. smartphone panelists, compared to the Amazon mobile app, which is used by 13% of the panel. Amazon mobile shoppers spend far less time accessing the Amazon m-commerce site than with the Amazon app (19.8 minutes per month for the site versus 40.0 minutes per month for the app). Amazon mobile shoppers also access Amazon.com via their smartphone browser far less often—5.7 average sessions per month for the site versus 10.9 average sessions per month for the app.

Google.com came in second among mobile sites, visited by 28.4% of Arbitron panelists. Google.com users spent an average 4.2 sessions per month for a total of 3.7 minutes in the month. EBay.com came in third, visited by 18.0% of smartphone panelists. EBay.com shoppers visited on average 5.8 times per month for a total of 22.8 minutes.

Craigslist.com came in fourth among mobile sites, visited by 15.6% of panelists. Craigslist.com visitors tallied an average of 14.2 sessions per month for a total of 60.6minutes. And Walmart.com came in fifth among mobile commerce sites, visited by 15.4% of panelists. Walmart.com shoppers visited 3.5 times for a total of 8.5 minutes.

In Arbitron’s analysis of smartphone mobile commerce, the use of app stores for m-commerce is not included. There are about 13,000 adult smartphone users on Arbitron’s U.S. smartphone panel.

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