Online shopping takes place across multiple screens, according to [pdf] August 2012 research conducted by Sterling Brands and Ipsos on behalf of Google. The survey found 2 in 3 respondents using multiple devices sequentially to shop online, with the path to purchase beginning on a smartphone for 65% of those respondents. Of those beginning the shopping process on a smartphone, 61% continued on a PC or laptop, and 4% continued on a tablet.
Of the 25% who began their purchase journey on a PC or laptop, 19% continued on a smartphone and 5% on a tablet. And of the 11% who began shopping on a tablet, 10% moved onto a PC or laptop. The study concludes that as sequential use of devices to shop becomes commonplace, business must enable customers to save their progress between devices (e.g., with saved shopping carts and “signed-in” experiences).
Smartphone and PC users aged 18-64 participated in the survey. While participants were not screened on tablet usage, 41% reported using the device.
Data from “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior” indicates that among all respondents, 90% reported using multiple devices sequentially to accomplish a task over time, and 98% of those move between the devices in the same day.
Of those who moved sequentially between devices, 81% browsed the internet, 72% engaged in social networking, while 67% shopped online. Other common multi-device activities included: searching for information (63%); managing finances (46%); planning a trip (43%); and watching an online video (43%).
Among multi-device users, smartphones were the most common starting point for all of those tasks. For example, 63% started browsing the internet on a smartphone, 59% started managing their finances and 66% started social networking.
PCs are a common starting point for more complex tasks, such as planning a trip (38%) or managing finances (34%). Tablets as a starting point peak when used to plan a trip (15%) or shop (11%). In both cases, the multi-device user continues most often to a PC, rarely to a smartphone.
Of the shopping activities tracked across devices, 59% of smartphone events occurred in-home, compared to 41% that occurred out of the house. By contrast, the vast majority of activities on PCs and laptops occurred in-home, with just 16% outside the house.
Asked if those shopping activities were planned or spontaneous, respondents reported that 81% of their smartphone shopping activities were spontaneous, compared to 58% on PCs and laptops.
An April 2012 Wave Collapse survey of smartphone shoppers examined consumers’ last mobile purchases to see whether they were planned or impulse buys, finding that clothing and food/take-out were the categories with the highest share of impulse buyers (both at 46%), followed by beauty/make-up, pet items, and shoes (all at 45%).
About The Data: The research was conducted in two phases, involving 1,611 over 7,955 hours of activity. The qualitative phase consisted of mobile text diaries, online bulletin boards and in-home interviews in LA, Boston and Austin. In the quantitative phase, participants logged each of their traditional and digital media interactions in a mobile diary over a 24 hour period. A survey probing further into observed behavior was deployed the day following diary participation. Participants were given an online survey to understand attitudes and behaviors associated with various digital activities, specifically when using multiple screens. The study observed 15,738 media interactions.
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