flurryfullcolor-logo-rgbRetailers’ own shopping apps are pulling ahead from price comparison apps, purchase assistants and online marketplaces in the “App & Mortar economy”, according to Flurry.

The mobile analyst measured time spent by consumers across 1,800 iOS and Android shopping apps from December 2011 to December 2012. It found that consumer time spent in retailers own apps increased 525% over the year, far exceeding the shopping app average growth of 274%, as well as the growth of time spent in the other four categories: price comparison (eg RedLaser), retail assistant (eg ShopAdvisor), online marketplace (eg eBay) and price comparison (eg GroupOn).

In fact, of all time spent in shopping apps, Flurry said that 27% was spent in retailer’s own apps, up from 15% in 2011. This growth has largely come at the expense of daily deals, down from 20% in 2011 to 13% in 2012, and online marketplace apps, which shrunk from 25% in 2011 to 20% in 2012.

Flurry said that the rise of the App & Mortar economy would mean a fundamental change for the relationship between retailers and consumers. “Gone are the days when retailers should focus the majority of their marketing effort attracting consumers into stores, where 95% of all purchases take place,” it said.

“In the new mobile app economy, devices are always with you, always on and always connected. Consumers can be intercepted in store aisles and even on their way to the cash register.”

Its conclusion? “To keep dollars flowing through their cash registers, retailers need to re-examine the consumer relationship from the ground up and through the lens of mobile-first,” Flurry said. “In the App & Mortar economy, the battle for deeper consumer relationships is beginning.”