Consumers Show 20X Preference for Browser-based Web, Tablet and Mobile Shopping Over Apps, Finds Zmags Study

News Facts:

  • Zmags, the leading provider of rich media mobile and social merchandising, today released the findings from a study of the behaviors and profiles of online and mobile shoppers. An infographic of the survey results can be found at
  • A key finding was that only four percent of consumers prefer to shop using mobile apps on their smartphones or tablets. This may surprise retailers for whom branded apps have been a priority over browser-based mobile and tablet commerce strategies. By comparison:
    • 87 percent of consumers prefer to browse and buy from websites via PCs or laptops.
    • 14 percent prefer to shop via mobile websites on their smartphones and nine percent with tablets.
  • The survey also revealed that, while tablet shopping is gaining traction across many retail categories, consumers are starting to show category-specific device preferences. For example, 53 percent of shoppers for electronics prefer to use a tablet. Retailers will need to balance investments to ensure their tablet, smartphone and Web shopping experiences are optimized to match consumers’ growing device preferences.
    • After electronics, shoppers for toys displayed the most preference for tablet shopping (39 percent), followed by clothing (37 percent) and travel (26 percent).
  • The connected consumer’s tablet use and spending activity is on the rise. The survey found that 87 percent of tablet owners used their tablets for 2011 holiday shopping and spent an average of $325 with their tablets. Additionally, more than half of tablet owners browse or shop from their tablets at least weekly.
  • More than 80 percent of connected consumers are active Facebook users, and tablet owners display a distinct preference for brand engagement and shopping on Facebook. This presents retailers and brands with a powerful opportunity to monetize their Facebook brand presence.
  • The full Zmags report, entitled “Meet the Connected Consumer: How Tablets, Smartphones and Facebook are Changing the Ways Consumers Shop” can be downloaded at
  • The survey of 1,500 consumers who own a computer, smartphone and/or tablet was conducted by Equation Research for Zmags during November 10-14, 2011.

Supporting Quote:

“The study clearly demonstrates that mobile and tablet apps, on their own, are just not meeting connected consumers’ browsing and purchasing needs in an increasingly complex retail landscape — and that browser-based commerce is their preference,” said W. Sean Ford, COO and CMO of Zmags. “For retailers and brands, there is enormous opportunity to capitalize on this complexity by designing engaging and consistent browser-based shopping experiences optimized for each device.”

About Zmags

Zmags helps thousands of the world’s most progressive global retailers and brands design brilliant and consistent marketing and merchandising campaigns across social, mobile, tablet, and e-commerce platforms, driving product discovery and inspiring impulse purchase(s). Using the Zmags on-demand rich media merchandising platform, leading brands have measurably and dramatically increased customer engagement, conversion rates, order size and brand loyalty without the burden of IT constraints. Zmags is among the fastest growing technology companies in North America, ranking #70 on the Deloitte 2011 Technology Fast 500.  Zmags is headquartered in Boston, MA. with European offices in London and Copenhagen. For more information about Zmags, please visit


Samantha McGarry
InkHouse for Zmags
[email protected]