App & Mortar Economy: New Battle for Consumer Relationships

Instead of using the term “mobile commerce,” analytics provider Flurry describes “App & Mortar” trends in its new report about the rise in smartphone shopping. “This report confirms what we already knew about mobile commerce, but takes it a step further by figuring out who is benefiting the most right now from the trend. Surprisingly, it’s physical retailers,” according to AllThingsD.

Flurry analyzed the activity that took place on more than 1,800 iOS and Android shopping apps during December 2012, comparing those numbers to ones found during the previous month.

“The biggest growth category by far was apps developed by retailers, such as Walmart, Macy’s and Gap. Flurry said time spent in retail apps skyrocketed by 525 percent year over year. In contrast, online marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, increased by only 178 percent,” reports AllThingsD.

There were also big gains in terms of how long shoppers spent inside various retailers’ apps. “In December 2012, shoppers spent 27 percent of their time inside of retail apps, up by 12 percentage points over the same month a year earlier,” notes the article.

The Flurry report indicates that 2012 was the first year that major retailers began to take mobile shopping seriously. The report also indicated a decline in online marketplace and daily deal apps.

“The opportunity for retailers to extend their relationship with consumers outside the store has never been greater, or more mission critical. Gone are the days when retailers should focus the majority of their marketing effort attracting consumers into stores, where 95 percent of all purchases take place. In the new mobile app economy, devices are always with you, always on and always connected,” explains the Flurry blog.

“To keep dollars flowing through their cash registers, retailers need to re-examine the consumer relationship from the ground up and through the lens of mobile-first. In the App & Mortar economy, the battle for deeper consumer relationships is beginning. And there are already thousands of apps for that.”