College students and retirees may often display similar usage habits when they take their tablet devices in hand, but that isn’t always the case — these groups tend to show their age when it comes to some preferred tablet activities.
According to the Adobe 2013 Mobile Consumer Survey, young adults spend more time playing games and watching video than do older people, for example. Meanwhile, individuals in the 50-64 age group spend the greatest amount of time using email on their tablets. Seventy percent of older tablet owners use their devices for email, compared to just 57 percent of survey respondents 18-29, according to MarketingCharts.com.
The survey polled more than 3,000 mobile device users from five countries — Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States — in Adobe’s annual survey of how consumers use mobile devices.
One of the biggest disparities in mobile-device usage involves the differing levels of video consumption among the three groups. Some 55 percent of the youngest survey group said they use their tablets to watch video, compared with 31 percent of the oldest group.
Beyond that handful of differences, most age groups display similar tablet activities. The survey’s results are useful for marketers looking to determine which advertising media are most likely to reach targeted demographics.
Other Notable Survey Insights
Retailers will be interested to know that, when it comes to mobile shopping, age is only a number. Between 42 and 44 percent of respondents, regardless of age group, use tablets for shopping. The report also concluded that tablet shoppers spend more money than smartphone shoppers.
Overall, tablets are expected to prompt 10 percent of all website visits in 2014, thanks in large part to increasing tablet sales, and this growth will contribute to a 50-percent increase in mobile search and display ads by 2015, according to Adobe.
Despite the tablet’s categorization as a “mobile” device, Adobe’s report questions whether that’s really the case. In each age group, approximately 80 percent of respondents said they typically used tablets at home. The 50-64 age group was most likely to take their tablets out of the house, with 17 percent saying they used their devices in this manner.
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