U.S. mobile shoppers prefer mobile web to apps

NEW YORK | When Nielsen analyzed smartphone usage among 5,000 American volunteers they found that while mobile retail websites are more popular than retail apps, combining the two results in maximum reach.

The survey, conducted during the 2011 holiday season, found that almost half (47.8%) of smartphone owners prefer to use the mobile web for shopping-related purposes while just 25.3% prefer gaining access via branded on-device apps. However, Nielsen's analysis reveals that it's a combination of apps and mobile web that will result in the greatest reach.

"Retailers need to think of their business as a multi-channel environment that can potentially include mobile, online, and bricks and mortar stores," said John Burbank, President of Strategic Initiatives at Nielsen. "Winning with shoppers requires a consistent experience across channels that reinforces the values you represent as a retail brand, whether it be price, service, reviews, selection, style, or other key attributes."

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