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That's because apps are more streamlined than Web sites, which can be clunky and hard to navigate on smaller screens on smartphones and tables. Also most apps store shoppers' information so customers don't have to type in a lot of information each time they buy.
"One of the reasons people don't convert (to mobile shopping) is that there is a lot of friction in the process," said Andrew Lipsman, vice president of industry analysis for comScore. "If I have to enter all my information on the phone, I might not convert. But if there's an easy log in and all I have to do is one-click or a couple of easy clicks to buy, people will convert that way."
According to comScore data, Amazon and eBay are the only major retailers that have visitors spend more time on their app rather than their web site -- by a wide margin. Meanwhile, only about 2 percent of the time spent on Macy's and Sears online presence is via an app, according to the data.
The problem? Analysts say retailers have not marketed their shopping apps well enough to encourage shoppers to find and download them.
"Retailers should put specific incentives in front of consumers to download and use that app," Lipsman said. "Doing that now will pay dividends down the road."
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