Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Media Tablet Owners Purchase Online More Frequently

Recent findings from a survey of U.S. smartphone and tablet owners indicate that tablet ownership increases the frequency of mobile shopping, improves the purchase experience -- and makes people who own both devices use their smartphone more often.

The study revealed that tablet ownership increases mobile purchase frequency, with owners of tablets (as well as smartphones) buying nearly twice as often as those who only have smartphones. Further, more than 40 percent of these “dual owners” made more than 20 mobile purchases over the past year.

Nearly two-thirds of dual owners indicated higher overall spending due to their mobile purchasing activity.

“Dual owners have the classic markings of early tech adopters, including skewing high-income and male,” says Todd Board, SVP of Ipsos OTX MediaCT. “That said, our study clearly suggests that owning both a smartphone and tablet can positively reinforce mobile shopping and spending habits.”

“We are starting to see more retailers take advantage of this trend by tailoring their mobile websites and apps for tablets. With more shoppers planning to use tablets to shop this holiday season, and quite often using them from the comfort of their own home, we expect that retailers will see quite a bit of ‘couch commerce’ this year,” says Laura Chambers, Senior Director of Mobile, PayPal.

Chambers added, “We are predicting that the first big spike in mobile shopping will be right after Thanksgiving dinner, where consumers will be shopping from their tablets and smartphones right from their couch -- a fantastic early opportunity for retailers to engage their customers.”

Dual owners are significantly more likely (63%) to indicate increased overall spending on mobile purchases, versus owners of smartphones only (29%). Tablet owners may be enticed to spend more due to the device’s larger screen and keyboard, and touchscreen capabilities, which tablet owners say improve the shopping experience.

The study also found that the addition of a tablet complements the smartphone shopping experience. In fact, the results show that dual owners still prefer smartphones for a wider range of m-commerce tasks.

Says Board, “Where dual owners have a preference between devices for mobile commerce activities, most preferences are in favor of the smartphone. They’re easier to use for swiping the device for coupons or QR codes, listening to audio with privacy, and buying in some public settings, and also preferred for making a final purchase. Also, while smartphones seem preferred for app-based purchases, tablets seem preferred for website-based purchases, probably tied to the ‘couch commerce’ theme of at-home purchasing we also see in our data.”

Board concludes that, “The profile and habits of these ‘dual owners’ are still fluid, with tablet adoption still early. The bottom line, though, is that owners of both devices are raising their hands to say ‘I want to spend money with these devices,’ and retailers have an opportunity to help them do so as much as they can.”