August 16, 2013, 10:59 AM

Mobile shoppers want their smartphones and tablets—and their couches, too

When shopping on tablets or smartphones, most consumers shop from home, Nielsen says.

Lead Photo

Mobile or not, smartphones and tablets are most often used as shopping devices from consumers’ homes, The Nielsen Co. says in a new report.

In a study of how consumers used smartphones and tablets as online shopping devices in the first quarter of this year, Nielsen found that 38% made a purchase on a tablet and 24% purchased via a smartphone. But among those purchasing on tablets, nearly all, or 95%, did it from home, 1% transacted while commuting and 4% while in “other” places. Among those purchasing on smartphones, 72% bought from home, 3% while in a store, 6% while commuting, and 18% while someplace else. (The smartphone percentages add up to 99% because of rounding by Nielsen.) Nielsen did not break out percentages of consumers who shopped on mobile devices from multiple locations.

In fact, the study found that home was a common, if not the most common, location for several aspects of mobile shopping. That includes researching, checking prices, reading and writing reviews, commenting about a purchase on social media, using a store locator and developing shopping lists of what to buy.

Following are the percentages of consumers who took actions on their own tablets, followed by the percentages of consumers who took the same actions on their smartphones:


Making a purchase:

● Overall—38%, 24%

● At home—95%, 72%

● In a store—0%, 3%

● Commuting—1%, 6%

● Other—4%, 18%

Research products before buying:

● Overall—59%, 54%

● At home—93%, 63%

● In a store—2%, 21%

● Commuting—0%, 5%

● Other—4%, 10%

Checking prices:

● Overall—50%, 56%

● At home—88%, 35%

● In a store—5%, 50%

● Commuting—1%, 5%

● Other—6%, 11%

Reading online reviews:

● Overall—46%, 39%

● At home—93%, 62%

● In a store—1%, 23%

● Commuting—1%, 4%

● Other—5%, 10%

Using a store locator:

● Overall—41%, 70%

● At home—84%, 24%

● In a store—1%, 5%

● Commuting—7%, 56%

● Other—8%, 15%

Using lists they created on a mobile device of products they’re interested in buying:

● Overall—13%, 37%

● At home—50%, 15%

● In a store—30%, 71%

● Commuting—2%, 4%

● Other—18%, 10%

Using social media to comment on a purchase:

● Overall—20%, 19%

● At home—87%, 71%

● In a store—3%, 5%

● Commuting—1%, 6%

● Other—9%, 18%

Writing an online review of a purchase

● Overall—16%, 9%

● At home—92%, 86%

● In a store—0%, 3%

● Commuting—4%, 4%

● Other—5%, 8%

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