February 17, 2011, 12:47 PM

Mobile device owners research and shop online more than most consumers

A new survey from BIGresearch finds significant differences between the two groups.

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Half of U.S. adults who own a smartphone or tablet computer like to research products and shop online and via mobile, a new survey by BIGresearch finds.

According to the survey of 20,000 U.S. adults, four types of mobile devices are most popular: 13.2% of adults own a BlackBerry device, 11.3% own an iPhone, 9.3% own a device running Google Inc.’s Android operating system and 5.2% own an iPad. Some consumers may own more than one device, for example, an iPhone and an iPad.

Of all U.S. adults, 40.7% say they regularly shop when online, BIGresearch finds. Mobile device owners like to shop even more. 49.1% of BlackBerry owners, 49.6% of iPhone owners, 47.9% of Android users and 49.7% of iPad owners say they shop online regularly, whether they shop on a desktop PC, smartphone or tablet.

What’s more, mobile device owners are more inclined to research products online or via mobile before making a purchase. The top three product categories researched are electronics, apparel and CDs/DVDs/Books. 48.7% of all U.S. adults researched an electronics product online or via mobile before buying it in person in the last 90 days, BIGresearch finds. 58.6% of BlackBerry owners, 61.2% of iPhone owners, 65.9% of Android users and 66.4% of iPad owners did the same.

38.1% of all U.S. adults researched an apparel product online or via mobile before buying it in person in the last 90 days, BIGresearch says. 50.0% of BlackBerry owners, 48.7% of iPhone owners,45.5% of Android users and 48.1% of iPad owners did the same.

33.9% of all U.S. adults researched a CD, DVD or book online or via mobile before buying it in person in the last 90 days, BIGresearch finds. 41.2% of BlackBerry owners, 43.5% of iPhone owners, 42.6% of Android users and 48.1% of iPad owners did the same.

“Mobile device owners are not only looking up product information before they purchase; they can also compare prices directly at the point of sale. Going a step further, with mobile Internet access, these device owners can instantly share their research findings with friends and family via electronic word of mouth,” says Gary Drenik, president and CEO of BIGresearch. “Retailers need to be sure their online presence meets the expectations of mobile device owners, who will be searching for reliable, quick information in order to make an informed purchase decision. Retailers should also make it easy for mobile device owners to share product information and promotions with others through social media—especially since mobile device owners are more likely than average consumers to give and seek advice on products and services.”

Overall, smartphone and tablet owners love to use the mobile web. 88% of Android users, 86.9% of iPhone owners, 84.9% of iPad owners and 80.2% of BlackBerry owners regularly or occasionally browse the web on their devices, BIGresearch finds.

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