US Nielsen: more than 87% of mobile owners use devices to shop

Nielsen e-commerce report

The average American household has four digital devices on average and spends around 60 hours a week consuming content across multiple screens. More than 87% of these smartphone and tablet owners are using their devices to shop, according to a new report by Nielsen.

Nielsen’s February 2014 report, “The Digital Consumer,” illustrates how mobile devices have become a large part of the everyday lives of Americans.  The average American household now has HDTV (83%), Internet-connected computers (80%), smartphones (65%), digital video recorders (49%) and gaming consoles (46%). In the next six months, a quarter of Americans said they plan to buy a smartphone, while 49% of 18 to 24-year-olds plan to upgrade to a smartphone.

The move to mobile is best illustrated by double-screening. While television remains the main source of media, 84% of mobile device owners use their device as a second-screen while watching TV. Tablets are the device of choice for this activity. Smartphones only dominate if the viewer wants to check their e-mail. Tablet users are surfing the Web (66%, smartphone 49%), shopping (44%/24%) and buying a product or service being advertised during the program (14%/7%). They are also checking sports scores, searching for information about their program, reading discussions about the program on social media and voting or sending comments to live programs.

As for shopping, the report reads “Mobile shopping gives marketers opportunities to reach out throughout the consumer’s purchase journey from start to finish. From consumers searching for more product information or price comparisons while in retail showrooms, to shopping directly on their device from the comfort of home, to sharing reviews and commenting on retail experiences and purchases through social media, mobile commerce is empowering consumers and providing brands with new consumer touchpoints.”

Some highlights from the report show that men and women are equally active mobile shoppers, that 28% of mobile shoppers earn more than $100k and that the demographic skews younger with the majority under the age of 45. Smartphone shoppers are most likely to locate a store with their device, and tablet owners are most likely to read reviews of recent or future purchases.

Tablet shoppers are more likely to use their devices to research items before purchase (65% /59% of smartphone users), read reviews of recent or future purchases ( 55% / 47%), purchase a digital product on their device( 45% / 39%), purchase a physical item on their device (40% / 32%), purchase a service on their device (27%/ 21%) and write a review of their purchase (23%/14%).

Smartphone users are more likely to use their devices to use a store locator to find a store (76%/ 39% of tablet users), check prices (66%/51%), use lists while shopping (49%/14%), use a mobile coupon (49%/10%), use their device to make a payment (37%/27%) and use social media to comment on a purchase (26%/21%).

Another American mobile shopping trend is the significance of the Hispanic mobile consumer. They are the fastest growing population segment (15% of America’s adult population), forecast by the report to contribute to population growth by 60% over the next three years, and they are the fastest adopters of smartphones (72% of Latinos own smartphones). Hispanics comprise 12% of mobile shoppers.

According to the report, Hispanics are twice as likely to upgrade their tablets (15%) in the next six months, and 49% of the respondents said they planned to replace or upgrade their smartphones over the same period of time. “Hispanic digital consumers are poised to be even more influential in the coming years,” reads the report.

Nielsen is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands.