In the realm of tablet purchases, mobile shoppers are more likely to buy items on their tablets than on their smartphones. While 30 percent of tablet owners say they have made purchases on their devices, only 13 percent of adults in the U.S. with smartphones say the same.
These findings come from the new Forrester Research report, “How US Consumers Shop On Mobile Devices,” which provides a snapshot of the overall current state of the U.S. mobile retail market. And while relatively small numbers of shoppers are purchasing items on mobile devices, the report reinforces the fact that mobile commerce and mobile usage will grow significantly in the coming years.
Mobile’s Upward Trajectory
By 2016, the total number of tablets in the U.S. is expected to surpass the 150 million mark, making them more popular than desktop and laptop computers as they become the preference of 45 percent of the adult population.
The study cites larger screens as one of the drivers for higher numbers of purchases on tablets. The study finds that tablets are also more likely to be used for mobile commerce activities other than shopping, including researching a product and reading customer reviews.
The types of products being purchased on mobile devices, however, are similar among smartphones and tablets, with the most purchases coming from apparel, tickets and travel. Appropriately, however, tablets are more popular for online e-book purchases, which is again attributed to screen size.
Tablet purchases are becoming more prevalent because these devices are viewed as attractive replacements for home computers, as indicated in the study. In fact, when the report cites another Forrester study that predicts that U.S. mobile revenue will reach $31 billion — or 9 percent of total ecommerce — by 2017, that number only includes smartphones and places tablets with other ecommerce revenue.
However, this doesn’t mean marketers should not consider tablets mobile devices, as they still have to create campaigns and user experiences based around touchscreen websites and apps. But the study finds that retailers are lagging behind on creating these mobile websites and apps, despite the growing popularity of tablets.
Many retail executives have launched mobile apps but say they are still skeptical of the return on their mobile investment. The report finds that this leads to fewer user-friendly mobile retail apps and, consequently, less mobile commerce.
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