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DAYTON, Ohio – Consumers are no longer grabbing their laptops to get their online shopping done.
Where are consumers spending their money? Online shopping is evolving into way more than just consumers shopping on websites. Spending on mobile apps more than doubled to $86 billion in 2017 compared to two years earlier as smartphone and tablet users spend more time on their mobile devices, according to a new study.
When consumers shop – in stores or online – they are usually looking for something specific and want to be able to find it easily, economists at the National Retailer Federation have found. When they shop online they expect to get their merchandise delivered quickly and for free, NRF economists said.
“Consumers today want what they want when they want it and they don’t expect to pay a premium to get it fast,” said Mark Mathews, NRF vice president for research development and industry analysis. “And whether it’s next-day or pickup-in-store, quick delivery of online purchases at little or no extra charge is growing so fast that it’s something shoppers are coming to expect.”
Retail app usage climbed 70 percent to more than 50 billion sessions in the U.S. on Android apps as consumers continued to migrate to offerings from “bricks and clicks” retailers like Target and Walmart and “digital-first” stores like Amazon and Etsy. The volume of searches for the term “Black Friday” jumped 115 percent in November 2017 from three months prior, indicating that shoppers were more likely to seek apps to help with holiday shopping.
The average smartphone user has 80 apps on their phone and typically uses 40 of them during any given month. Time spent in apps is up 30 percent to where the average person spends about 43 total days per year in apps. The increase in app use has forced retailers to put more of an emphasis on delivery speed and convenience.
Experts say consumers will ditch apps altogether in a few years. Within three years, 40 percent of consumers will use a voice assistant like Echo or Alexa as an alternative to purchasing items via an app, according to the Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute Conversational Commerce Survey.
About 35 percent of voice assistant users admit to having purchased products such as clothes through their voice assistants, and said they may spend as much as 500 percent more through voice assistants in the coming users as they do now, according to the Capgemini study. Among other survey findings, 31 percent of people said that within three years they likely will prefer using a voice assistant to visiting a physical shop.