Apps dominate mobile as web browsing declines

Mobile usage is on the rise and the shoppers spending more time with mobile devices are increasingly doing so on mobile apps, compared to mobile-optimized sites.

The mobile Web is increasingly turning Web browsers into little more than an afterthought, according to a report from app analytics company Flurry.

Time spent on a mobile device by the average consumer in the United States clocked in at 2 hours and 42 minutes per day in March, up from 2 hours and 38 minutes per day in March 2013.

Apps continue to dominate, commanding 86 percent of the average U.S. mobile consumer's time, or 2 hours and 19 minutes per day. Time spent on the mobile Web continued to decline and averaged just 14 percent of the U.S. mobile consumer's time, or 22 minutes per day.

Gaming apps continue to be among the most popular, and retailers have taken note. The trend is toward gamification and developing mobile apps that encourage shoppers to interact with a brand and earn rewards. Shopkick may be the most well-known of these efforts, but apps such as Target's Cartwheel (NYSE: TGT) and even Starbucks' (NYSE: SBUX) app, let users earn rewards and interact in ways beyond price checking.
Compared to last year, gaming apps maintained their lead at 32 percent of time spent. Social and messaging applications, including Facebook, increased share from 24 percent to 28 percent. Entertainment (including YouTube) and utility applications held steady at 8 percent each compared to last year. And productivity apps have a small but growing share of the market, rising from 2 percent to 4 percent of the overall time spent.

The share of consumers using social media and messaging apps, including Facebook, grew from 24 percent to 28 percent.

There's some indication that app usage is leveling off somewhat. The average user in the United States spent an extra four minutes a day on a mobile device, that's just 2.5 percent more than the previous year. It's an increase of 12 minutes a day and this 9.5 percent increase is small compared to the growth of interaction in previous years, according to Flurry.

Still, U.S. consumers are spending 2 hours and 19 minutes on their smartphones, and doing so more in apps than Web browsers.

For more:
-See this Flurry report
-See this FierceCMO story

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