Amazon Dominates M-Commerce, While Wal-Mart Owns Check-ins

Amazon is the king of mobile retail; Wal-Mart is the leader of offline check-ins. Last week there were two sets of parallel data released that provided some insight into how consumers are using mobile devices, both for "m-commerce" and in stores.

Data from comScore found that among US smartphone owners “4 out of 5″ are going to retail site/apps on their handsets. Some of this is in-store price and review checking.

ComScore put the total number of mobile-retail visitors at roughly 86 million. Unsurprisingly Amazon was the leading retail destination with an audience of almost 50 million smartphone owners.

These mobile-retail site visitors were both somewhat younger and more affluent than corresponding retail site visitors on PCs. 

The number four mobile retailer on the list above, Wal-Mart, is the leader when it comes to in-store check-ins. According to data compiled by LocalResponse this summer from Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp and Instagram, Saturday is the most popular day to check in followed by Friday and then Sunday. Most check-ins occurred in the afternoon or early evening.

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LocalResponse also found that men were more likely than women to check in. However gender check-ins by store varied, with Target being the most popular store for women. BestBuy was the most popular check-in retail location for men. 

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While some retailers are creating incentives for users to check-in, this should be exploited much more aggressively both to get people into stores and as a corresponding analytics tool to indicate the success of various promotions. Hashtags, offers and other mechanisms could be used to track specific promotions. In addition, users could be "messaged" (on Twitter) or otherwise notified (i.e., on Foursquare) while in stores with further promotions and rewards.

In general traditional retailers have yet to fully recognize the potential and utilize social media check-ins for in-store loyalty and sales purposes.