55+ Use Tablets As Multitasking Tool

SmartPhone-Blackberrry-A1While smartphones gave new meaning to the word "multitask," 76% of single consumers use a tablet to get more information about a product or service seen on TV, compared with 63% of those married, according to a study released Thursday. Those age 55+ are adopting the trend at a greater speed. 

Tracking the conversion path across multiple devices has become the norm, according to The Search Agency (TSA) study conducted online in August by Harris Interactive among 2,006 adults. While more consumers 18 to 34 own tablets, more people 55+ use their tablet while watching TV. 

Young people tend to make purchases more often during the day, while older people buy at night.

When survey participants were asked about using two screens to complete a transaction, 59% of survey participants use their smartphone even when they have a computer nearby. It's even more prevalent -- at 74% -- with consumers ages 18 to 34.

Millennials do not separate work and play as much as their older counterparts. Some 53% of consumers age 18 to 34 are more likely to purchase something online during the day than at night. Only 42% of those age 55 and older are more likely to purchase during the workday. Some 52% of respondents age 18 to 34 are more likely to browse social networks during the day than at night versus 41% of those age 35 to 44, 30% among age 45 to 54, and 30% age 55 and older.

Tablets and smartphones are the hottest consumer electronics items this year, and consumers tend to reach more often for Apple's iPad and iPhone, according to Parks Associates. Research released Thursday suggests U.S. consumers plan to spend 33% more on consumer electronic devices this holiday season, compared with last year.

The total amount is increasing from $793 per household in 2011 to $1,058 in 2012. The survey of 2,500 U.S. broadband households, fielded in October and November 2012, found 63% of households plan to make a CE purchase, up 37% in the same year-ago period. 

Married and single adults also have a preference on mobile device. The TSA study found more single people, at 49%, own a smartphone, compared with married people, at 43% -- but more married people, at 45%, own tablets than single people, at 36%.

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