They Research on Smartphones, Buy on Tablets

by Net Future Institute on February 26, 2013

Mobile shopping behavior continues to evolve with consumers using smartphones and tablets for both researching and purchasing products.

I came across an interesting new study around this that shows how the actions of research and purchasing differ by device.

While the smartphone is the device for research, the tablet is more the device for purchasing, according to the study by a Lenovo team led by Mo Chaara, Director, Site Optimization, in the Global Web Marketing Team at Lenovo.

Lenovo surveyed consumers who had researched or purchased on their mobile phone or tablet within the past year.

The study found that research is the primary function of both devices during the purchase process.

By device, 65 percent researched only on a smartphone while a third (32%) researched and purchased. For tablets, almost half (47%) researched and the same percent both researched and purchased via tablet.

But looking at the findings by the function of research, about half (49%) used a smartphone while only 20 percent did so on a tablet.

What strikes me in the study is the amount of product research being conducted on mobile devices, which should be no surprise given that consumers continually use their phones before, during and after a retail store visit.

Another interesting tidbit in the study is that consumers don’t have a great preference between apps and mobile optimized experiences.

When asked their preference to download an app or use a mobile website to research and purchase products, 11 percent prefer to download an app, 33 percent would use a mobile-optimized website and more than half (56%) say it doesn’t matter as long as they are satisfied with the information they are given.

No matter how it is delivered to the mobile consumer, it looks like it still comes down to the value delivered, not necessarily the method of delivery.


Chuck Martin is editor of mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk. He is author of “The Third Screen,” “The Smartphone Handbook,” and the soon-to-be-published “Mobile Influence.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute and a frequent mobile keynote speaker around the globe.


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