79% of shoppers happy to shop on smartphones and tablets

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Almost 80% of US smartphone and tablet users are now comfortable making mobile purchases, with many even making big ticket buys of more than $1000 on such devices, according to the latest Mobile Audience Insight Report from location-based company JiWire.

According to the research, people are relying more on their smartphone or tablet to do business, stay connected and shop when out and about. While smaller purchases are more easily accepted, 50% of respondents are confident spending more than $100 on a purchase from their device – nearly 20% are even comfortable with purchases above $500.

As part of the mobile shopping experience, a majority of consumers are also spending time researching future purchases on mobile phones and other devices. More than 70% researched future purchases on their mobile device and then made a purchase either online or within a store at a later date. Specifically 31% researched a purchase on their device before buying it in-store at a later date, while 40% researched a purchase on their device before buying it online at a later date, up 19% from Q4. A fifth researched and made purchases from their device. Travel, entertainment and retail are the top researched and purchased products and services

“As mobile technology evolves and people begin to rely more on their smartphones and tablets, location-based services and content have truly become a necessity for the on-the-go audience,” says David Staas, senior vice president of marketing at JiWire. “What we are seeing with the evolution of mobile commerce is how the combination of mobile and location is transforming shopping behaviour, enabling mobile advertising to drive in-store, brick and mortar consumer engagement. We are seeing this trend take place across a broad range of retailers and service providers, from national brands to local mom and pop deals.”

Similar to last quarter’s results, which revealed that location-based ads are driving mobile shopping, the latest survey shows that 72% of the mobile audience purchases local deals. Forty four per cent of those respondents purchased local deals at least once a month. Though younger age groups are thought to be the early adopters, deal-purchasing behaviour is relatively consistent across age groups and gender – those aged 25 to 44 are most likely to purchase a local deal.

Additionally, 62% of respondents are sharing local deals with friends. Results show that more than half of “Gen Xers,” aged 45 and older are sharing local deals with friends.

The demand for tablets continues to increase as 71% of survey respondents either own or intend to purchase a tablet. When purchasing a tablet, 58% of those respondents prefer an iOS operating system, while only 4% prefer an Android based operating system. Additionally, 31% have no OS preference, ultimately opening opportunities for tablet makers to attract new users.

For the first time, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, an Android-based tablet, has made the top 10 list in the US when it comes to connected device trends and adoption. Although Apple devices continue to hold marketshare with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad holding the top three spots, there has been a continuing decline of iOS usage from quarter to quarter, decreasing 4.1% since Q4. There is also continued growth in the Android market with several new devices – Samsung Galaxy, HTC Glacier and HTC Hero – in the top 10.

Unlike the US, in the UK the iPhone is the only Apple device to lose marketshare, decreasing 6% since Q4. Additionally, for Q1 in the UK, iOS was down 3.6%, whereas the Android OS was up 1.3%.

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