Tablets Top Smartphones for Shopping

A few days ago, I wrote about some research from Lenovo that found shoppers tend to research on smartphones but buy via tablets.

Now comes another major piece of research that adds to the emerging picture of mobile purchase behavior further highlighting the significance of tablet shopping.

In the 2013 Digital Marketer Report by Experian Marketing Services, researchers found that in a given month, 39 percent of U.S. tablet owners had shopped from their tablets. This compares to 8 percent of smartphone owners who shopped from their device.

The caveat, of course, is that there are substantially more smartphones than tablets in use, with the latest market penetration numbers at about 55 percent for smartphones and 20 percent for tablets. But the percentages, at least at this stage, could be an indicator of an evolving mobile marketplace, depending on the ultimate growth of each of the two device categories.

Tablets also are the device of choice for researching products and comparing prices, with 38 percent doing it on tablets and 15 percent on smartphones, according to the study.

Tablets also are more the device for banking and paying bills with about a third of tablet owners doing it compared to fewer than one in five smartphone owners.

A rather counter-intuitive finding in the study of thousands of consumers is that more people scanned barcodes with tablets (13%) than with smartphones (8%). The study did not specify a specific location for the scanning, so it could have been done at home or in-store.  (Please, do let me know if you’ve seen anyone scanning with a tablet in a store.)

As in much of the recent research around mobile, Experian also looked at mobile payments and found that 27 percent of smartphone owners have tried at least one mobile payment option ranging from swiping or waving the phone at a payment kiosk to SMS text message to a business.

Top payment method used: SMS text message to a business. Least used: Swiping or waving the phone at a payment kiosk.

The mobile evolution continues.

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