January 4, 2012, 10:07 AM

Tech-savvy mobile shoppers went crazy this holiday season, survey finds

One-third of female smartphone owners surveyed made half their holiday buys on the devices.

Bill Siwicki

Managing Editor, Mobile Commerce

Lead Photo

It’s by no means a representative sample of the overall consumer population, but among a certain group of shoppers very focused on technology, buying on mobile phones is no stretch. In fact among smartphone owners in this survey, 32% of women and 25% of men made half or more of their holiday purchases via mobile phones. Overall, 34% of iPhone users and 20% of Android users who made purchases using their phones say half or more of their holiday purchasing was done via their smartphones, the survey from TechBargains finds. Among tablet owners, 35% of women and 21% of men made half or more of their holiday purchases via their iPads and other tablets.

58% of mobile phone owners have made purchases via their devices compared with 94% on laptops and 75% via tablets, says the Dec. 14-19 survey of 628 TechBargains.com visitors, who skew tech-savvy as they visit the site for deals on consumer electronics and related products. For those who shop with their phone, 79% use it to research products, 77% to compare prices and 73% to browse stores. Of the 58% percent of shoppers who make purchases via their mobile devices, 69% use both the mobile browser and apps to buy products; 18% only use apps, 13% only use a mobile browser.

On mobile phones, 70% of shoppers purchased digital goods, 60% purchased physical merchandise, 46% purchased services and 38% purchased consumable goods, the survey finds. The majority of shoppers, 76%, say ease of use is the reason they would buy one category of products over another, and 34% cite price point as the reason why they would buy in one category over another.

71% of iPhone users make purchases via their phone compared to 64% of Android users, the survey says. 71% of iPhone users who make purchases using their phone use both a mobile browser and apps to make purchases, 22% use only apps to make purchases, 6% only use a mobile browser. 70% of Android users who make purchases using their phone use both the mobile browser and apps to make purchases; 14% use only apps to make purchases and17% only use the mobile browser.

75% of tablet owners use their devices to make purchases; 90% use tablets to browse stores, 89% research products and 85% compare prices. 86% of iPad 2 owners make purchases via their tablets while 74% of Kindle Fire owners make purchases via their devices. These purchases include e-books, which can be read on tablets.

“While the use of mobile devices is increasing, our survey results strongly indicate that mobile devices are currently much better for window shopping than for buying,” says Yung Trang, president of TechBargains. “Tablets are widely used for research and shopping. This demonstrates that consumers are open to new technology.”

59% of men and 54% of women in the survey make purchases using their mobile phones. Of those who don’t use their mobile phones to make purchases, 42% of men and 38% of women cited security concerns and 54% of men and 59% of women cited difficulty completing purchases. 74% of men and 77% of women make purchases using their tablets.

78% of survey respondents were men, 22% were women. 11% were age 18-24; 19%, 25-30; 21%, 31-35; 16%, 36-40; 14%, 41-45; 8%, 46-50; 5%, 51-55; 3%, 56-60; and 4% 60 and older. The household income for survey respondents is as follows: 11%, under $25,000; 15%, 25,000 to $39,999; 9%, $40,000 to $49,999; 20%, $50,000 to $74,999; 17%, $75,000 to $99,999; 15%, $100,000 to $124,999; 6%, $125,000 to $149,999; and 7% $150,000 and higher.

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