June 16, 2013, 12:04 PM

Mobile commerce hot spots

Mobile shoppers order takeout and shop for books, movies and cosmetics, comScore says.

Department store, apparel, movies, comparison shopping and books are the retail categories with the most mobile commerce shoppers in April 2013, new research from web and mobile measurement firm comScore finds. Music, toys, shopping malls, flowers/gifts/greetings and fragrances/cosmetics have the least mobile shoppers.

To gauge which categories are more mobile-oriented than others, comScore has created a new index. It examines each category by dividing the total number of U.S. consumers who shop that category on mobile devices by the number who shop that category on computers. Then comScore adjusts the result for each category to take into account that more consumers shop on PCs than mobile devices—although not by much. In April, comScore says, 85.4 million consumers visited retail sites from computers and 80.7 million, only 6% less, via mobile devices.

The resulting index sets all retail to 100, then provides the score for each category in relation to that norm. Categories with scores above 100 do better in mobile than on PCs, while categories with scores below 100 do worse in mobile.

Categories with the highest mobile scores are food (234), books (210), movies (151), fragrances/cosmetics (146) and health care (135), comScore says. Categories with the lowest mobile scores are computer software (45), computer hardware (63), sporting goods (73), comparison shopping (75) and toys (91).

“Food is driven by mobile ordering through pizza delivery apps and apps for businesses including GrubHub, Seamless and Peapod,” says Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis at comScore. “This category is not very high on the web, but there is great mobile utility for it. That’s why it earns such a high score.”

Books, movies and music have high mobile scores because they are forms of content that are heavily used on mobile devices, Lipsman says. And Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp. are driving the health care category with their popular mobile prescription refills, he adds.

“Computer software and hardware both score low because they are things that are tied to desktop computers, not tablets and smartphones,” Lipsman says. “Comparison shopping has a low mobile score because it ranks so high on PCs that it’s a high bar for mobile to hit. Plus, people are more likely to comparison shop through the Amazon.com and eBay apps rather than download comparison shopping apps.”

The comScore index does not measure sales on PCs or mobile devices, only visits to retail sites.

Following are the retail categories, mobile index score, April 2013 monthly unique mobile U.S. visitors in millions, and percentage all U.S. mobile shoppers who shopped that category in April 2013, according to comScore. They are listed by score in order from most mobile-oriented to least mobile-oriented:

• Food, 234, 21.9, 16.1%

• Books, 210, 31.4, 23.0%

• Movies, 151, 32.4, 23.8%

• Fragrances/cosmetics, 146, 11.8, 8.7%

• Health care, 135, 27.1, 19.8%

• Jewelry/luxury goods/accessories, 124, 13.6, 10.0%

• Music, 122, 6.1, 4.4%

• Shopping mall, 108, 9.2, 6.7%

• Consumer goods, 107, 16.4, 12.0%

• Department store, 104, 41.9, 30.7%

• Apparel, 104, 39.5, 28.9%

• Tickets, 104, 15.6, 11.4%

• Consumer electronics, 101, 24.0, 17.6%

• Flowers/gifts/greetings, 101, 10.2, 7.5%

• All retail, 100, 110.1, 80.7%

• Home furnishings, 93, 23.3, 17.1%

• Toys, 91, 7.8, 5.7%

• Comparison shopping, 75, 31.7, 23.2%

• Sporting goods, 73, 14.2, 10.4%

• Computer hardware, 63, 23.8, 17.4%

• Computer software, 45, 15.0, 11.0%


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