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e-Commerce Industry News

February 25, 2014
Mobile apps offer an engaged target audience
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February 25, 2014
Mobile apps can be used to reach engaged individuals. Mobile apps can be used to
reach engaged individuals.
Retailers looking to tap into engaged audiences that are more likely to interact and shop with a brand should consider leveraging mobile apps, as some of the leading big-box retailers are enjoying a lot of success with their apps.

Mobidia and Internet Retailer recently reported that approximately half of retail app users shop through the apps at least once a week, with average mobile app engagement figures reaching 43 percent among the top top 50 brick-and-mortar merchants. When looking at Web-only retailers, engagement is even higher at 47 percent, which may illustrate that consumers are more likely to view mobile as an extension of online stores.

"A lot of these apps are not just about daily deals, but many multiple deals every day," explained Chris Hill, vice president of marketing at Mobidia. "On Steep & Cheap, an app I use too much, you get good new deals every 20 minutes. The best way to monitor those deals throughout the day is on your smartphone, which you always have with you, no matter where you are."

Mobidia asserted merchants should aim for 46 percent of total monthly active users shopping through apps on a weekly basis as a benchmark to evaluate the success of their apps. Active users are defined as shoppers who engage through the app at least once per month.

Hill also noted that retailers may see massive differences between users of different mobile operating systems. For example, a retailer's target market may align itself more closely with the iPhone and as such, the seller may see more activity on those devices. This should illustrate the importance of optimizing mobile shopping experiences for different devices.

According to data from comScore, more than 156 million people in the United States owned smartphones by the end of 2013, which shows just how massive the potential audience for a retail app could be.