As the presence of ecommerce expands; how and why consumers use the internet to shop is of increasing interest. With the introduction of smart phones there has been a shift in where and when people use the internet but it appears that computers are still the preferred method when it comes to purchasing products online.
As the most preferred devices for online shopping activities the computer is where most consumers buy; but according to September 2013 research from ChoiceStream, more than half of internet users have browsed at least something via mobile device. This is not surprising with most consumers owning now smart phones. There has also been a significant increase in tablet purchases in recent years.
The survey of internet users in the US found that 87.3% liked using their computer for online shopping most. Currently just 7.4% choose tablets and 5.3% choose smart phones when shopping online. Nine out of 10 customers use the computers to research products online. Although half of the respondents had researched on their mobile device for future purchases
Retail was not the first option when researching online, restaurant were the most common category. Only 20% more people looked up restaurants on computers. The second most common category was travel products with consumers more than twice as likely to use computers.
Not many people regularly completed purchases via mobile though more than half of respondents had done so at some point. In regards to these purchases the most common category was games and apps. As these are easy to download content it was not surprising. Although even in this category consumers were still more likely to purchase using their computers.
It is estimated by eMarketer that 79.5 million US internet users will buy goods or services via mobile devices at least in 2013. Included in this number are the 52.3 million who will buy via smart phones and 71.1 million who will buy goods and services via tablets. Next year, the total will rise to nearly 100 million mobile buyers.
With the growth of the industry it can be expected in years to come that purchasing will further shift more equally to tablets and smart phones. With consumers looking for easier ways to purchase and research, the mobile device provide quicker and easy to access options in our day to day lives.