Consumers are spending far more time in retailer applications, per data from Flurry. Measuring time spent by consumers across 1,863 iOS and Android shopping apps from December 2011 to December 2012, Flurry finds that retailer apps saw a massive 525% jump in time spent, roughly double the growth rate in time spent with the average shopping app (274%). As a result, retailers captured a greater share of engagement in the shopping app category, growing from 15% to 27%.
The study breaks the shopping app category into 5 major segments: retailer apps; price comparison; purchase assistant; online marketplace; and daily deals. While all segments saw growth in time spent, none were quite as meteoric as retailer apps. Price comparison (+247%), purchase assistant (+228%), and online marketplace (+178%) each trailed retailer apps in consumption growth, but nevertheless grew faster than the average app (+132%). Only time spent with daily deal apps grew more slowly than the average app (126% vs. 132%).
Looking at the distribution of time spent by shopping category, Flurry finds that retailer apps with their 27% share are now the largest category, followed by online marketplace (down from 25% to 20% share), purchase assistant (marginally declining from 18% to 17%), and price comparison (even at 14%). Daily deals saw the biggest drop, from 20% to 13% share of time spent in the shopping category.
While there was an overall rise in time spent in both retailer apps and shopping apps in general, research from Econsultancy and eDigitalResearch suggest that consumers still prefer shopping via mobile websites than via mobile apps.