In a previous post, we discussed how consumers use smartphones and tablets as tools to research prior to purchasing online or in-store. Tablet and mobile purchases increased during the holidays but consumers continued to use mobile phones primarily for research, according to last week’s Mobile & Tablets event.


Mobile device shopping accounted for 14% of 2013 holiday sales, which increased 26% on Black Friday. However, most of that increase was on tablets, not smartphones. 7 in 10 smartphone owners said they planned to use their devices for holiday shopping, but not for purchases. Finding stores, checking and comparing prices, and getting product information were the top three uses of smartphones, and making a purchase ranked 9th.


Even though tablets have higher conversion rates and average order values, smartphones outperform solely based on time spent on the device. Research tracking 950 smartphone users showed they spend more than 15 hours a week on the device for pre-purchase research. As the holidays are the peak, with gifting or self-gifting on most consumers’ mind, brands can tailor their approach to direct those searches to their online or brick-and-mortar stores.


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