Mobile is no longer the big, existential threat to bricks-and-mortar retailers it was once seen as. In fact, mobile is actually driving a greater share of online visitors to retailers like Walmart and Target, than it is to Amazon.
Leading bricks-and-mortar retail chains in the U.S. are seeing one-third or more of their online visitors accessing their e-commerce sites only on mobile devices, according to new comScore data analysed by BI Intelligence. These are shoppers who never see the desktop version of the Walmart or Target site, and only access the mobile Web and app version.
The data point to how smartphones are often used in conjunction with shopping at physical stores. In other words, shoppers accustomed to shopping at Target might never visit the PC version of the site, but might very well visit the app or mobile site to check an offer, find a store location, or download a coupon in-store.
Three of the five major retailers with the largest proportion of mobile-only audiences are traditional chains.
- Half of Target’s 48 million online shoppers last month accessed the retailer solely via the mobile Web and apps. In June 2013, only 37% of Target’s online audience was mobile-only. BI Intelligence found that Target saw the biggest bump in mobile-only usage of all the major retailers tracked by comScore.
- 30-nine per cent (12 million) of Best Buy’s 30 million online shoppers were mobile-only in January, compared to 35% in June 2013.
- 30-eight per cent (22 million) of Wal-Mart’s 57 million digital shoppers last month came by way of mobile devices, compared to 33% in June 2013.
Amazon had 53 million mobile-only shoppers last month (more than any other retailer), but that represents just 31% of all Amazon shoppers.
These findings indicate that mobile usage may be even more important to “omnichannel retailers,” which sell online and through physical stores, than it is to purely digital retailers.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.