Nearly 75 Percent of Consumers Use a Smartphone While Shopping, According to NPD

Consumers favor retailer websites over specific apps

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 21, 2013 – Consumers go everywhere and can do just about everything on their smartphones, and shopping is no exception. According to the new Connected Intelligence Shopping on Smartphones report from The NPD Group, nearly 75 percent of smartphone owners are using their device as part of their overall shopping experience

A large part of this shopping experience is being played on out on retailers’ websites rather than on their store-specific apps.  Almost three quarters (71 percent) of smartphone users are using retailer websites such as,,, and; but only 57 percent of consumers are accessing those retailers’ apps to enhance their shopping experience.  

“Apps need to become a more seamless component of the consumer’s day-to-day shopping experience if retailers want to remain top of mind and relevant to consumers once they leave the physical store,” said Eddie Hold, vice president, Connected Intelligence. “Right now, engagement is low, meaning the app is clearly an experiment that is quickly dropped by most consumers.”

According to the report, just three months after downloading a retailer’s app on their phones, 75 percent of consumers don’t even use it once a month. The app itself is also not being used to its fullest potential.  Only a third of shoppers are accessing and utilizing the retailer apps in the physical stores.  A large majority of app, and website use as well, is occurring in consumers’ homes.

“The fact that nearly 94 percent of consumers are shopping on their phones from home rather than in-store suggests that engagement on their smartphone is more of an alternative for online shopping rather than a showrooming tool,” said Hold.  “Key functionality such as store product location, integrated shopping lists, and even scan-and-go will help drive the experience further and on a more consistent basis.”

The Shopping on Smartphones report leverages a combination of on-device metering and consumer panel data. The on-device meter, the “SmartMeter” uses a three-month rolling panel that provides a base of 4,500. The consumer panel survey surveyed 1,500 smartphone users age 18 and older and was fielded in September 2013.

About Connected Intelligence
Connected Intelligence provides competitive intelligence and insight on the rapidly evolving consumer’s connected environment. The service focuses on the three core components of the connected market: the device, the broadband access that provides the connectivity and the content that drives consumer behavior. These three pillars of the connected ecosystem are analyzed through a comprehensive review of what is available, adopted, and consumed by the customer, as well as reviewing how the market will evolve over time and what the various vendors can do to best position themselves in this evolving market. For more information: Follow Connected Intelligence on Twitter: @npdci.

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