Nielsen released some mobile insights yesterday by observing 5,000 smartphone volunteers during the 2011 holiday season.

Here’s a summary:

  • Five sites represented nearly 60 percent of the smartphone shopping activity (Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Target and Walmart) with Amazon impacting the results due to its dominance (see below chart).

  • Mobile websites scored more traffic than mobile apps.

  • Target and Walmart skew female when it comes to their mobile websites, while Best Buy skews male. Amazon and eBay appeal to both genders.
  • All of the top 5 mobile retail websites experienced a “bump” during the days leading up to and following Black Friday, led by Amazon. This seasonal lift did not translate into an increase in regular usage, however. By January, active reach was back to October 2011 levels.
  • The Nielsen shopping data represents a different view than the recent comScore “2012 Mobile Future” report which showed mobile Web and mobile App traffic to be about equal.

Read the full Nielsen press release: A Store in Your Pocket: Retailer Mobile Websites Beat Apps among US Smartphone Owners | Nielsen Wire.