US Consumers Favour the Browser Over Apps

Adobe has released the results of its first quantitative mobile consumer study, conducted by its Omniture Business Unit, including newly integrated Adobe Scene7.

The study of 1,200 US consumers measured mobile user preferences, characteristics, satisfaction levels and other experiential factors across four key consumer categories: Consumer Products & Shopping; Financial Services; Media & Entertainment; and Travel. The study revealed that when it comes to the mobile user experience, respondents generally favour mobile browser experiences over downloadable mobile app experiences across all four categories, and that they prefer mobile apps when interacting with social media and music and self-contained experiences such as games and maps. Overall, consumers report equal satisfaction levels with their browser and app experiences, and spend about the same amount of time interacting with each.

Within the Consumer Products & Shopping, and Media & Entertainment categories, 66 per cent of respondents said that they prefer the mobile web for accessing content, compared to 34 per cent who cited a preference for downloadable apps. The survey also demonstrated a huge opportunity for mobile commerce, with 38 per cent of respondents saying they had not bought anything in the Consumer Products & Shopping category from their device in the last six months.

“Though mobile apps continue to be extremely popular, mobile users aren’t ignoring mobile websites,” says Brad Rencher, vice president and general manager, Omniture Business Unit at Adobe. “This and other findings make it clear that companies can significantly enhance their customers’ mobile experiences and better drive mobile e-commerce revenue…Our customers are finding that an optimized mobile strategy, whether it consists of a website, an app, or a combination of both, can become a tremendous competitive advantage.”

The study also found Media & Entertainment to be the highest-penetrated mobile category, both in terms of the number of users, and time spent, with only 3 per cent of those surveyed saying they had not interacted with media content on a mobile device in the last six months. In contrast, Consumer Products & Shopping was the least penetrated, with the fewest number of users saying they had bought consumer goods from their phone. Despite their differences, Media & Entertainment and Consumer Products & Shopping drew the highest percentage of satisfied mobile users out of the four categories, with 89 per cent and 85 per cent respectively.

The report also revealed that accessing maps and directions is the No. 1 mobile activity (81 per cent) followed by three media-related activities: social networking (76 per cent); accessing local information (73 per cent); and reading news (68 per cent). The top mobile finance activity is reviewing bank account information (67 per cent).

Shrink-wrapped entertainment such as CDs, games and DVDs comprise the second largest mobile purchase category, accounting for 43 per cent of those surveyed.
Males aged 30-49 tend to be the most active content consumers and mobile purchasers; men outspend women, with 31 per cent having spent $499 or more through their mobile device in the last 12 months, versus 23 per cent of women who did so. Men also spend more time than women on financial and travel content, while more women (80 per cent) engage with social media on their devices, compared to men (70 per cent).

Adobe has invested in a number of solutions to help companies take full advantage of the mobile channel to develop, deliver, analyze and optimize their mobile websites and applications. These solutions include Mobile analytics (Adobe SiteCatalyst; Mobile advertising optimization (Adobe SearchCenter Plus); mobile commerce optimization (Adobe Scene7 and Adobe Test&Target); mobile content creation (Adobe Creative Suite); and mobile rich content delivery (Adobe Scene7, Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR).