Smartphone Friday

The Black Friday extravaganza saw a major lift in mobile shopping app and website use, with more than 21 percent of smartphone users pulling out their devices to compare prices on apps and 40 percent using websites during the day.

But while the smartphone proved to be a core tool in the shopping madness, the key apps used will bring little cheer to the major retailers. Top of the list of used apps was Amazon (10 percent of Android users, 12 percent of iPhone), with eBay coming in second with an average reach of 7 percent of the base (again, skewing slightly higher for iPhone users). The results indicate that the Day of Deals continues to drive increased price comparison-shopping beyond the physical store, putting further pressure on the retailers.

Website consumption continues to prove that there is life – and lots of it – beyond apps. Website reach (percentage of users accessing) was almost twice app use, with 39.5 percent of Android users accessing shopping sites. Again, Amazon dominated this category with 13 percent reach, but retailers faired reasonably with Walmart at 6.3 percent and Best Buy at 2.5 percent.

Men were more likely to use apps, both on Android smartphones and iPhones, while women were more heavy web users (45 percent of women compared to 33 percent of men), while the iPhone was more heavily used as a shopping tool than Android (28 percent iPhone to 21 percent Android).

All in the Timing

An analysis of the time of day activity shows a significant drop in activity during the peak shopping period of midnight to 4AM. This suggests that the pricing tools are used less by the hardcore shoppers who lined up. These shoppers typically already know what they are looking for, based on the well-publicized deals. However, once the initial grab-and-buy period slows, the smartphones come out to support a more paced shopping experience.

Note for clients: For more detailed analysis, please view Black Friday Smartphone Activity blog