According to a survey conducted by Nielsen in Q1 2012, the vast majority (79%) of US smartphone and tablet owners have used their mobile devices for shopping-related activities. Smartphones are used more often than tablets for activities on-the-go: “Locating a store” (73% vs. 42% for tablets ), “using a shopping list while shopping” (42% vs. 16% for tablets) or “redeeming a mobile coupon” (36% vs. 11% for tablet owners). However, tablet owners are much more likely to use their device for online shopping: 42 percent of tablet owners have “used their device to purchase an item,” compared to just 29 percent of smartphone owners.
One of the most popular activities among both smartphone owners and tablet owners is “researching an item before purchase” (66% for tablet owners vs. 57% for smartphone owners). Comparatively few mobile shoppers have used their devices for payments (27% of smartphone owners and 28% of tablet owners), but that number is expected to rise in the years to come as more mobile payment systems roll out nationwide and U.S. consumers get more comfortable with the idea of mobile payments.