We already know that mobile shopping is growing, in step with the growing group of smartphone and tablet owners, but what kinds of activities are mobile shoppers pursuing? Considering the varying mobility between tablets and smartphones, it’s little surprise that mobile shopping activities often depend on which device is used as much as where it’s being used.
U.S. mobile shoppers use their devices most frequently in the home, according to Nielsen, as more than two-thirds of smartphone shoppers and four-out-of-five tablet shoppers do—sometimes while watching TV. While shopping on their mobile devices, tablet owners are more active with product research (59%) and are more likely to purchase physical items (38%) than smartphone shoppers (24%).
Smartphone shoppers are more active outside the home, but they are more likely to do certain mobile shopping activities from home, such as reading reviews and using social media to make a comment on a purchase. Even though smartphones and tablets are made to be mobile, some mobile shoppers never leave the couch while they’re shopping, as 95 percent of tablet shoppers and 72 percent of smartphone shoppers who make a purchase with their device do so at home, although tablet users are more likely to make a purchase overall.
For mobile shoppers who make a purchase in a retail store, smartphones are constant companions and the in-store device of choice for most. En route to the store, 70 percent of smartphone shoppers use a store locator to plan their shopping trip. Once they arrive at the store, 37 percent stay organized using lists while shopping on their phones. Savvy mobile shoppers use their devices to check prices, and the majority of smartphone (63%) and tablet (53%) owners search and scan their way to savings, though more smartphone owners do this while in a retail store. And the savings continue at the checkout lane, where smartphone shoppers are more likely to use their devices for mobile coupons (34%) and for payment (23%).
But the experience doesn’t end at the checkout line. When mobile shoppers get back home, they pick up their tablets to track and share their shopping experience on the Web. Twenty percent write comments on social media and 16 percent use their tablets to write reviews of their purchases. Among tablet shoppers, 17 percent said they follow up on their purchase by looking up information on a complementary product. And for those that never leave home to shop, the majority of smartphone (55%) and tablet (52%) shoppers said they use their devices to track the progress of their online orders.