Half of Tablet Owners Shop on Device At Least Weekly

53% of tablet owners shop or browse on their device either once a week (20%), more than once a week (21%) or every day (12%), according to a survey released in January 2012 by Zmags in partnership with Equation Research.

49% of tablet owners expect to purchase more over the coming year than they did in the 2011 holiday season, compared to 19% of smartphone owners who responded likewise. And when shopping, tablet owners also appear happier, more excited, creative, inspired, and generous than laptop, PC or smartphone owners.

The leading motivation for shopping on a tablet is convenience (29%), followed by easy browsing that helps product discovery (24%). Ease of transaction (14%), and having a specific product or offer in mind (13%) are relatively less important.

Tablet Owners Less Savvy, More Spontaneous

Data from “Meet the Connected Consumer” indicates that laptop, PC and smartphone owners are 28% more likely than tablet owners to classify themselves as savvy shoppers seeking out the best prices, and more than twice as likely to call themselves frugal (21% vs. 8%). Tablet owners, by contrast, are 36% more likely to say they are inclined to make impulse purchases (14% vs. 9%), 43% more likely to say they are brand faithful (10% vs. 7%), and three times as likely to call themselves shopaholics (9% vs. 3%).

Results from an Adobe Systems study [pdf] released in January 2012 indicate that tablet visitors to the analyzed sample of more than 150 US retailers spent $123 on average per purchase in 2011, 54% more than smartphone visitors ($80), and 21% more than those who visited via traditional laptop and desktop computers ($102).

Electronics Popular for Ecommerce, Tablet Commerce

According to the Zmags survey, electronics leads all retail categories in terms of tablet commerce, with 53% of tablet owners voting it a top 5 product category they are most likely to purchase on their device, ahead of books (41%) and toys (39%). Among those shopping on a PC or desktop, electronics (55%) and books (43%) are also the top categories, following by clothing (41%). By contrast, music (42%) is the category most shopped by smartphone owners.

Tablet Owners Active on Facebook

One-third of tablet owners say they shop using a retailer’s or brand’s Facebook page, more than double the proportion of overall connected consumers (16%) who own a computer, smartphone or tablet. Tablet owners also display a greater propensity to follow their favorite brands on Facebook (57% vs. 43%). According to a Baynote survey released in January 2012, only 8.7% of online holiday shoppers purchased something from a retailer’s Facebook fan page during the 2011 holiday season, while just 1 in 5 said that personal connections on Facebook or another social networking site influenced what they purchased.

Meanwhile, according to Zmags findings, the leading motivation for connected consumers to use a retailer’s or brand’s Facebook page to shop is because they like to share good finds or daily deals with friends via social networks (22%), closely followed by a need for inspiration, stemming from not knowing what they are looking for (21%). Other popular motivations include having a specific product or discount offer in mind (19%) and already spending so much time on the social network (17%). Roughly 1 in 10 cite ease of transaction, or being prompted by an ad or product seen on TV or in a magazine, newspaper, or other medium, as motivators.

Other Findings:

  • According to the Adobe analysis, 34% of tablet visitors to retail sites shopped on the weekends, compared with 24% of desktop and PC visitors and 27% of smartphone visitors.
  • Zmags survey results indicate that 52% of connected consumers are women with a mean age of 40 and a mean household income of $63,000. In addition to owning a PC or laptop, 43% of connected consumers also own smartphones, and 16% own a tablet.
  • 62-65% of connected consumers shop via digital or print catalogs, and more than three-quarters are active on Facebook.
  • Connected consumers’ preferred method of browsing and discovering products is via a website on their PC or laptop (87%), followed by in-store (71%). Shopping via a website on smartphones (14%) or tablets (9%) is more preferred than via a branded application on smartphones or tablets (both at 4%).

About the Data:

The Zmags results are based on interviews of 1,500 respondents — who owned a computer, smartphone and/or tablet — conducted from November 10-14, 2011. The Adobe findings are based on an analysis of visits made to over 150 United States retail web sites from January 1-December 31, 2011. 85% of the web sites analyzed are included in the 2011 Internet Retailer 500 Index. The 16.2 billion visits analyzed were anonymous and consist of all visits to these web sites during 2011 as measured by the Adobe Digital Marketing Suite.