Survey: the mobile shopping apps consumers value most

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Mobile shopping apps across the consumer experience
  4. Retailers at risk
  5. Consumers’ ratings of mobile shopping apps
    1. Discover: Learning about products, businesses, and events
    2. Choose: Evaluating, comparing, and selecting products
    3. Buy: Consumers’ experience remembering, ordering, using coupons, paying, and rewards
    4. Use: Consumers’ experience with support, warranties, and receipts
  6. How mobile impacts consumers’ shopping experience
  7. Conclusion
  8. Appendix: Ratings across all mobile apps
  9. Methodology
  10. About Phil Hendrix


The second in a two-part series, this report calibrates consumer interest in some 20 types mobile shopping apps that span the entire consumer experience, from prepurchase (discovery, shopping) to buying and postpurchase (service, support). Data from a recent immr survey (cosponsored by GigaOM) of U.S. smartphone owners reveal the mobile shopping apps that consumers value most. The findings allow retailers, brands, local businesses, and developers to identify needs of mobile shoppers, prioritize investments, and focus development efforts on “high-value” mobile apps.

Among the key findings:

  • A sizable number of consumers (nearly 1 in 2) are not happy with their shopping experience. Fortunately, mobile apps — especially those that make shopping easier and more rewarding — improve the experience and lift customer satisfaction.
  • Although use of mobile shopping apps is significant (approximately 1 in 4 smartphone owners currently use one or more mobile shopping apps), interest in the most valued types of apps is considerably higher. Almost two-thirds of consumers are “very interested” in apps that save time and money.
  • By a wide margin, the two types of apps that consumers value most — mobile coupon and price comparison apps — involve saving money.
  • Apps that allow consumers to manage loyalty and rewards are also highly valued.
  • Making shopping easier is a common thread in the two next most valued types of apps (product finders and apps that allow consumers to skip checkout).

While independent developers have led innovation in mobile shopping apps, retailers, brands, and local businesses are facing an imperative — integrate high-value mobile shopping capabilities into their customers’ experiences or risk disintermediation. Fortunately, solutions are increasingly available from SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) providers with white-label “plug and play” modules and platforms that reside in the cloud.

Driven by significant consumer interest, these trends will fuel massive deployment of mobile shopping apps across verticals and widespread adoption among consumers.

The first report in this series, “Why mobile must be part of the shopping experience,” which makes use of the same survey data, is here. The author participated in this related podcast and Mapping Session.

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