Market research leader Nielsen Company released a report on the US digital consumer this week, and as is customary with Nielsen research, it’s brimming with insights ranging from the actionable to the kinda-neat-to-know.
For example, it’s kinda neat to know that mothers with children under 13 are the most likely to use social media in the car. However, at least for our purposes, a more critical take-away is that 87% of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices to shop.
As expected, the big story remains the rise of mobile devices, in particular smartphones, on our everyday lives. This is a trend that has come at the seeming expense of PC and laptop usage, which is in decline. Think about that: 5 years ago, would you have imagined that the average consumer would be spending less time on desktop and laptop computers?
Key takeaways on the increased role of mobile devices in shopping:
65% of tablet owners and 59% of smartphone owners use their devices to conduct research before purchasing an item. Those research activities include reading reviews, comparing prices, and searching for locations.
76% of Smartphone owners use their phones to locate stores. Local business owners take note: As my first bullet point illustrates, these mobile owners use their devices to research your business and then locate you.
Mobile users spend about as much time reading customer reviews as checking prices. The big takeaway here is that reviews are a better way to differentiate than competing on price. At least, I’m guessing most business owners would prefer leveraging customer reviews to competing on price.
Tablet users actually spend more time using their device to read reviews of recent and future purchases than they do comparing prices. In fact, Nielsen points out that reading reviews of recent/future purchases is the most likely activity, out of all activities, for tablet owners.
While the economic viability of daily deal promotions remains an open question (cough, don’t-do-it, cough), consumers still use coupons, including almost 50% of smartphone users.