January 9, 2014, 4:42 PM

Most mobile web and app users shop Amazon on their smartphones

53% of all U.S. smartphone owners who accessed the mobile web or apps in October 2013 shopped Amazon.com’s primary app that month, Nielsen reveals. However, seven of the top 10 mass merchant mobile commerce destinations belong to bricks-and-mortar chains.

Lead Photo

The e-retailer's mobile app is a popular destination for shoppers on smartphones, including shoppers engaging in showrooming.

Amazon.com Inc. is the No. 1 mobile destination among mass merchants for U.S. smartphone owners accessing the mobile web and mobile apps, finds research giant Nielsen. In fact, a majority of smartphone owners who accessed the web or apps on their devices in October 2013 shopped Amazon.com.

53% of mobile web/app users in October shopped Amazon on their smartphones, Nielsen says. That adds up to 76.1 million unique monthly visitors, Nielsen says. On average, shoppers spent 38 minutes and one second on the m-commerce site and primary app of Amazon.com, No. 2 in the 2014 Internet Retailer Mobile 500. Amazon’s nearest competitor in the category, Wal-Mart Stores, reached only 13% of mobile web/app users.

One contributing factor to Amazon.com’s success, mobile commerce experts say, is showrooming, which in this instance is when a consumer checks out a product in a bricks-and-mortar store but uses her smartphone to compare prices and possibly buy the product via mobile or later online. 58% of adult smartphone owners regularly engage in showrooming, and the mobile resource most used by these shoppers is Amazon.com, according to a survey by rewards and incentives company Parago. 46% of shoppers who engage in showrooming on Amazon.com are members of Amazon Prime, the e-retailer’s free shipping and video streaming program that costs $79 a year, Parago finds.

While Amazon topped the list of mass merchants in mobile commerce, seven of the top 10 mass merchants are bricks-and-mortar chains. Following are the top 10 mass merchants in mobile commerce ranked by monthly unique visitors (in millions), along with the percent reach of all mobile web and app users, and the average time spent per visitor, according to Nielsen:

  • Amazon.com, 76.1, 53%, 38:01
  • Wal-Mart Stores, 19.4, 13%, 9:49
  • Target Corp., 19.2, 13%, 16:22
  • Walgreen Co., 7.8, 5%, 8:24
  • Etsy, 7.7, 5%, 13:11
  • Liberty Interactive (QVC), 6.0, 4%, 5:37
  • Costco Wholesale Corp., 5.1, 4%, 8:44
  • CVS, 4.4, 3%, 11:24
  • Sam’s Club, 4.0, 3%, 7:13
  • Kroger, 3.9, 3%, 11:43

Nielsen’s measurements are based on the mobile web and app behavior of 5,000 smartphone users who agreed to allow Nielsen to install meters on their devices.

The 38 U.S. mass merchants in the 2014 Internet Retailer Mobile 500 generated more than $13 billion in mobile commerce sales in 2013, Internet Retailer estimates.

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