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Study: Tablets Used for Remote Purchases, Phones In-Store

Nielsen conducted a survey during Q1 2013 and discovered that more than two-thirds of smartphone shoppers and four-out-of-five tablet shoppers do so at home, sometimes while even watching TV. Overall, tablet shoppers are more active remote shoppers while smartphone shoppers tend to rely on their devices more in-store.

According to Nielsen's chart, 70 percent of the mobile shoppers relied on their smartphone to locate a specific store, while 41 percent used their tablet. The survey showed that 84 percent of the tablet users did so at home whereas smartphone users were far fewer at 24 percent. In turn, the smartphone number jumped to 56 percent while the shoppers were traveling, and down to 7 percent for tablet use.

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For checking prices, mobile device owners actually used their smartphones more: 56 percent compared to 50 percent with tablets. 88 percent of the tablet owners and 35 percent of smartphone owners checked prices at home. However while in the store, the numbers shifted dramatically, with shoppers using their smartphones (50 percent) over their tablet (5 percent). Clearly it's easier to whip out a phone to see if a product is cheaper on amazon than it is to load up a 7 inch tablet or larger.

Neilson claims that 59 percent of mobile shoppers surveyed actually researched items on their tablets before making a purchase whereas 54 percent used their phones. A whopping 93 percent of the tablet owners did their research at home compared to 63 percent of phone owners conducting the same research. While actually in the store, the smartphone is the better choice, with 21 percent of the consumers using their phone and 2 percent using their tablet.

For actually purchasing products on a mobile device, 38 percent of those surveyed said they did so on a tablet while 24 percent used their phone. At home, tablet use was 95 percent whereas smartphone use as 72 percent. While commuting, the numbers dropped with 1 percent for tablets and 6 percent with phones. An "other" sub-category shows that 18 percent used their phone and 4 percent used their tablet.

There are a few other statistics on the chart. Only 16 percent of the surveyed mobile shoppers said they wrote a review of a purchase using their tablet while 9 percent used their phone. 92 percent of the tablet owners did so at home while 86 percent of the smartphone users did the same.  Only 13 percent of the shoppers used their tablet for shopping lists while 37 percent used their phone. A mere 20 percent used their tablet to write a comment about a purchase on social media while only 19 percent used their phones.

"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," Nielson states. "For mobile shoppers who make a purchase in a retail store, smartphones are constant companions and the in-store device of choice for most."

To see the full chart, head here.

  • fulle
    You mean to tell me that people shop on Smartphones and Tablets, while watching TV?!!! That's unbelievable! Just stop right there, no more. That's enough new information for today, I don't want to feel any more overwhelmed.
  • voodoobunny
    It's *far* more complex than that. They're saying that people don't use their tablets to shop in-store, and that tablet owners don't use their phones as much to shop at home. This is indeed a deep and counterintuitive finding.