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Apps trump mobile sites in consumer spending stakes

27 July 2016 - 09:03 by Mike Price

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People are more likely to spend money when using a retailer’s dedicated app than when visiting their m-commerce site, according to the results of a new report commissioned by Poq.

Researchers found that people carrying out safe shopping online from an app spend an average of six per cent more cash than they would on a desktop site. Meanwhile mobile sites generate five per cent less per transaction than their traditional equivalent.

Apps have long been seen as a way for retailers and brands to foster loyalty among customers and convince people to commit to major purchases even when they are on the move. Meanwhile mobile sites are better suited to casual browsing and are used as such by consumers in the UK.

People who use an app to carry out safe shopping online are twice as likely to return and use the same service again as those customers who make purchases from mobile sites, the report found. So there is clear evidence linking apps and customer retention rates.

Of course, apps are not without their issues, with companies having to compete with millions of other downloadable programs on the crowded marketplaces operated by Apple, Google and others. There are also a range of different smartphone operating ecosystems for which apps have to be developed, rather than the one size fits all approach that is applicable to mobile sites.

Mobile users can be a fickle bunch and even if a shopping app is downloaded, there is no guarantee that it will ever actually be opened.

The worlds of apps and the web are drawing closer together, with search engines integrating app-based content with mobile results so that it is easier for users to find what they are looking for, even if it is not actually on a site.