Everyone has their preferred shopping method, whether in-store or online. Successful marketers understand what their audience likes, and then adapt to simplify the buying process as much as they can.
Sellers looking to create the right online shopping experience for their customers have to consider the types of devices mostly used to access their website, and then tailor their content for those devices. Researches show that different demographic groups use a variety of devices, including laptops, desktops, smartphones, and desktops to shop online in the most convenient way.
So, which medium is more popular?
A recent survey involving 1012 online shoppers revealed that consumers are increasingly adopting mobile shopping, but desktops and laptops remain the preferred shopping devices, even for the younger generation aged 18 – 29 years.
Currently, desktops and laptops are the most owned devices, though mobile device (smartphones and tablets) ownership is growing progressively year-after-year. Data from the Global Web Index indicates that smartphones are the most popular mobile devices used on the net, followed by tablets and game consoles.
According to Mediatel’s Connected Screens Report (in partnership with Ocean Outdoor, Videology, and News UK), laptops are in the lead with 67 percent usage, followed closely by smartphones at 66 percent. Despite the growth of tablet device usage over the years, only 49 percent of users use their tablets for shopping, while handheld game consoles are at the bottom of the table at only 20 percent.
Actually, smartphones are mostly popular among the younger consumers, with about 77 percent of those aged 18 – 29 years owning a smartphone. Tablets, on the other hand, are more popular with the 30 – 39 age brackets.
Other screens worth considering
The report by Mediatel also revealed that 77 percent of users access TV content through a catch-up service such as iPlayer. The most popular ways to consume content are recorded TV programmes (69 percent) and Blu-Rays or DVDs (55 percent), though free streaming services such as YouTube (45 percent) and subscription based services like Netflix (32 percent) are gaining momentum.
This is an important revelation and reminder to marketers that mobile device ownership and usage is not ubiquitous. There is a media bubble as marketers assume that everyone has a tablet or smartphone or both, but the truth is that not every household has one yet. Households with mobile devices tend to use them for their convenience and user-friendliness, but continue to use laptops for shopping or as an alternative screen when watching TV.
ComScore’s 2014 market review shows that laptops are still the most common devices in most households, though many consumers are now multi-screening. In other words, consumers are accessing retail websites on desktop or mobile while doing other things. For instance, 42 percent browse on a PC or laptop while watching a TV screen, 39 percent use a smartphone while watching TV, while 28 percent use a tablet while watching TV.
So marketers have to ensure consistent experiences across multiple devices. At the same time, marketers should note that most online shoppers prefer to use the web browsers on their mobile devices as opposed to apps, including 61 percent of smartphone users.