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72pc of tablet owners make purchases on weekly basis: IAB

Tablet owners are spending a significant amount of time browsing and shopping on their devices every week, according to a new report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau UK.

The survey took a look at how mobile and online are used in the purchase journey, from awareness and research to purchase. IAB found that 72 percent of tablet owners use their device weekly to make purchases and the average amount of time spent shopping via the device per week is 4.4 hours compared to 2.2 hours for smartphones and 2.9 hours spent on PC users.

“It is quite astonishing to see how much time people are spending browsing and shopping on their tablets,” said Alex Cozloff, senior mobile manager at the IAB UK, London. “At the moment, this is a niche audience but it will be interesting to see how it progresses as there are more tablet owners.

“Obviously, people really like spending a lot of time with their tablets so the richer the experience you can provide on a tablet to hold that time, the better it should do,” she said.

While there are several retailers who have created rich tablet experiences, such as ASOS and eBay, retailers for the most part have not taken advantage of the opportunity in tablets yet, per Ms. Cozloff.

Cross-platform shopping
Tablet owners are heavy purchasers of a variety of products, according to the report.

The results show that 78 percent of respondents used a PC to purchase a physical item, 63 percent a tablet and 39 percent a smartphone. When it comes to purchasing a service or ticket, 55 percent used a tablet, 47 percent a PC and 28 percent a smartphone.

IAB foud that 69 percent of the consumers used a tablet to buy digital downloads. Additionally, 43 percent used a PC and 44 percent a smartphone.

The report also found that 38 percent use their smartphone in store, with 55 percent conducting a search about a product while in store.

Additionally, 49 percent did a price comparison with other retailers, 27 percent used an app or service on their phone to find shops in their local area, 25 percent scanned a product for more information, 24 percent scanned a product to find reviews or pricing information and 20 percent used an app for product information.

However, the majority of respondents used both a PC and a mobile device throughout the purchase journey.

“Consumers are using smartphones in store – this is a clear message for retailers to optimize for this behavior rather than fight it as these will be the ones that benefit in the long term,” Ms. Cozloff said.

“The big news for marketers and retailers is that both mobile and online are used throughout the purchase journey, so having that seamless experience across both platform is important because consumers are using both together,” she said.

TV and mobile
Other finding include that smartphone users are twice as likely to follow up on an ad for a product on their smartphone compared to going to a store, with one in two respondents following up on their smartphone. This activity is most likely to be driven by TV ads as consumers look for convenient price and product information.

“With half of those following up on an advert on a smartphone coming from a TV advert, it is a good idea to have a mobile call to action on TV,” Ms. Cozloff said.

“You could say that a mobile strategy is twice as important as an in-store strategy because that is where people are going to find their product information,” she said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York