Shoppers Prefer Tablets to Smartphones When Shopping

I don’t know about you, but when I’m out shopping, I often use my iPhone to double check prices before I buy, to locate products at a specific store, and to research the best products. According to the 2011 Holiday Mobile Shopping Survey by, many smartphone users utilize their phones in the same way that I do.

While shoppers make purchases from their home computers, they are more hesitant to do so on their tablets and smartphones, though tablet users are more likely to make direct purchases from the device.

Only 58 percent of shoppers have made purchases using their mobile phones, compared to 94 percent who have used their laptops. 75 percent have made a purchase with a tablet. 79 percent of smartphone owners use it to research products, 73 percent browse stores, and 77 percent compare prices. Of the 58 percent who have used their phones to make a purchase, 69 percent use both the mobile browser and apps to buy products, while 18 percent use only apps and 13 percent use just a mobile browser.

Laptop shoppers typically buy clothing and electronics online, while smartphone and tablet shoppers are far more likely to purchase digital goods. 70 percent made digital purchases and 60 percent purchased consumer products.

Between iPhone and Android users, iPhone owners are more likely to make purchases online. 71 percent of iPhone users make purchases on their phones, compared to just 64 percent of Android owners. 22 percent of iPhone owners use only apps for purchases, while only 14 percent of Android owners are able to make purchases with just apps.

86 percent of iPad 2 owners make purchases using a tablet, while 74 percent of Kindle Fire owners make purchases on their devices. 79 percent of iPad 2 owners use both apps and the web browser to purchase items, and 80 percent of Kindle Fire owners use both methods. 14 percent of iPad 2 owners use only apps, and 0 percent of Kindle Fire users make purchases with apps alone.

In general, Apple’s App Store and “There’s an App for that” campaign have been successful. Consumers are able to find apps that are able to be used safely and securely to make necessary purchases without the need for a mobile browser. Android users, however, do not have access to the same experience due to interface issues and security problems, and are forced to use the browser even in instances when they would choose not to.

“While the use of mobile devices is increasing, our survey results strongly indicate that mobile devices are currently much better for window shopping than for buying — especially when it comes to consumer products,” said Yung Trang, president of TechBargains. “Mobile shoppers are still more comfortable purchasing using their laptops, although tablets are widely used for research and shopping. This demonstrates that consumers are open to new technology, but until mobile shopping is as easy as shopping on larger devices and security concerns are addressed, they will be more reluctant to fully embrace mobile buying.”

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