New survey touts tablets as great for shopping

CSA logoRetailers have plenty of challenges to overcome when it comes to shoppers using smartphones for shopping, with awkward usability (49%), credit-card security (36%) and connection speeds (31%) topping the list, according to a survey by the e-tailing group.

“The customer is leading the charge when it comes to mobile, making it imperative that merchants understand how they desire to use these devices," asserts Lauren Freedman, president of the e-tailing group. "Such knowledge will be essential for driving revenue as well as positioning marketing and merchandising strategies to peak consumer interest."

The online survey, The Shopping Mindset of a Mobile Consumer, was commissioned by Coffee Table, iPad's e-commerce-enabled catalog marketplace. Respondents were shoppers who spent $250 or more online annually and currently own a smartphone and/or tablet device.


The survey found that given the "anytime, anywhere" nature of mobile, consumers are using their smartphones prior to making a purchase. Just as with websites, the store locator serves as an important destination in anticipation of store visits. Smartphone users have followed similar trends with frequent usage of store locators seen by 44% of respondents while one-in-three consumers take an aggressive stance when researching. This includes information gathering activities such as checking for sales and specials (40%) and looking for competitive pricing at Amazon (38%) or at other retailers (32%). Strong browsing of an online store for product of interest (37%), and seeking out the always popular product ratings and reviews (36%) also play an important role in this early shopping stage.

Tablets are perceived as ideal tools for researching products and browsing followed by purchasing, according to the survey. Tablet owners appear to use these devices to browse and buy online more frequently than smartphone owners. Daily to weekly usage at 29% tablet/22% smartphone and monthly or more (31% vs. 28%) indicate a proclivity for making shopping part and parcel of today's tablet culture.

Moving beyond browsing, the study revealed a higher concentration of buyers in the tablet segment as 68% of tablet owners vs. 48% of smartphone owners made a purchase, confirming the tablet's strong positioning as a shopping tool. One-in-four made at least six purchases in the past six months versus 16% on their smartphones while 39% made two to five purchases versus 30% on smartphones.

Charting satisfaction of tablet versus smart phone users, 88% of tablet owners reported that their most recent shopping experiences via these devices were very to somewhat satisfactory compared to 73% of smartphone users.

Todd HoffmanComment