Tablets are Changing Shopping Behavior: Study

By Gary Kim June 28, 2012

U.S. consumers have rapidly changed how they consume media and make purchases, according to a new study. Tablet use has risen quickly to 29.5 million U.S. users – 11 percent of the total U.S. population – estimated by InMobi, the largest independent mobile advertising network, and Mobext, the mobile marketing arm of Havas Digital.

Over 60 percent of U.S. tablet owners spend at least 30 minutes each day with media content on their tablets and 52 percent use a tablet to fill what previously would have been “dead time,” according to  Phuc Truong, managing director, Mobext U.S.

Connected devices are also significantly cannibalizing other forms of entertainment consumption and shopping, the study suggests. When asked what activities they do less after owning a tablet, 29 percent of U.S. tablet users said they have stopped reading books in print.

Another 29 percent of tablet owners claimed they stopped surfing the internet via their PC or laptop. Nearly half of tablet owners – 48 percent – agree that tablets’ appealing design and accessibility make it easier to access media content than on a PC or laptop.

The survey examined the media consumption habits of over 9,600 respondents across seven different markets.

The survey demonstrated that in-store shopping has also been affected. Some 22 percent of tablet users claim they have shopped less in physical stores since purchasing a tablet and 55 percent of tablet owners make purchases on their device in the average month.  

Survey results show that tablets have become the preferred device at home, while smartphones are preferred on the go. Together, smartphones and tablets eclipse much of the online activity previously done on PCs/laptops, according to inMobi.

On-the-go shoppers complete the entire purchase cycle – from awareness to post-purchase social media – from their mobile device, surpassing PC and laptop use across the board.

While transient shopping is held by the smartphone, tablet use peaks at home in the evening between 6 p.m. and midnight for most owners.  

Big purchases requiring heavy thought are being made at home, from browsing to buying.  In these cases, 55 percent of respondents report they first learn about the product on their tablet, 53 percent actively evaluate the product and 58 percent said they follow through with purchasing those goods on their tablet.

Edited by Braden Becker

Contributing Editor

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