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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2871 - August 16, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    4 of 5

Mobile Shopping Research Looks at eBay versus Amazon

By Ina Steiner
August 16, 2012

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eBay apparently does a better job of getting the word out about its RedLaser comparison-shopping app for mobile users, but those who have downloaded Amazon's PriceCheck onto their mobile device use it more frequently, according to new research.

Onavo and International Data Corporation (IDC) studied comparison pricing apps such as BarCode Reader, PriceCheck by Amazon, RedLaser by eBay, and ShopSavvy, as well as retail brand apps such as Best Buy, Target, Walgreens and Walmart. They found that mobile shoppers use comparison apps (which compare prices across different retailers) very differently than they use retail apps that are specific to a single major retailer.

eBay versus Amazon
eBay's RedLaser mobile strongly leads on adoption and has over three times the adoption of Amazonís PriceCheck. Notwithstanding, Amazonís PriceCheck is used more frequently each month than RedLaser and ShopSavvy.

The study concluded this may result from Amazon's e-tailing strength and/or a more immersive app experience.

Mobile Shopping Behavior Influenced by Day of the Week
Scott Ellison, IDC Vice President of Mobile & Consumer Connected Platforms, said, "One of the most surprising findings was that different mobile commerce app types have distinctly different usage patterns based upon days of the week."

The study found the single biggest day of comparison app usage is Saturday, and the single biggest day of retail app usage is Sunday. This potentially implies that more mobile price checking and "showcasing" are done on Saturdays and more actual mobile purchases are being done on Sundays.

Counter to expectations, the second highest day of retail app usage is Monday. With Sunday as the number one day for retail app usage, the researchers expected that Saturday or Friday would be the number two day. The results imply that Sunday retail app usage has a positive carry-over effect on Mondays.

Retail branded apps show relatively more consistent usage over weekdays compared to weekends, although weekends show overall highest retail branded app usage.

Researchers' Recommendations
Onavo and IDC made several recommendations based on their research. The three major pricing apps of RedLaser, ShopSavvy, and PriceCheck are generally used twice a month. This is remarkably consistent in terms of user behavior across the app type. Researchers said that means comparison pricing apps have much more room to grow, especially if they can evolve to better serve weekday needs such as shopping research and planning.

The companies also said that evolving price comparison apps for greater functionality during other parts of the week will be a key to their long-term success given retail app usage during week days. Greater functionality could include social shopping, budgeting, trip planning, and recommendations.

It is especially important for retail apps to drive more usage on Saturdays to counter the impact of comparison apps and "showcasing," and researchers recommended improved functionality that could include in-store navigation and "fewest steps" in-store route planning, spending tracking and analysis, social shopping, and mobile payments.

The analysis was performed on Onavo Insights data, aggregated from anonymized U.S. iPhone usage data for the months of June and July. The Onavo and IDC joint report is available on Onavo.com in PDF format.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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