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80% of smartphone and tablet owners use their devices while watching TV, with retail sites the most popular hits thanks to ads

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Four fifths of smartphone owners use their device while watching television, according to the latest eCustomerServiceIndex results from eDigitalResearch and IMRG. The survey also found that a similar number (81%) of tablet owners use their device in the same way, as do around three quarters (73%) of laptop users. And what are they all looking at? Retail sites, often because they have seen an ad on TV and want to find out more.

The survey also found that 41% of smartphone and tablet owners have been directly encouraged to browse for products on the Internet after seeing something on a television programme or advert, with nearly one third (30%) having made a purchase afterward.

Derek Eccleston, Head of Research at eDigitalResearch, explains: “It’s become increasingly evident in recent months that integration of channels is growing ever more important for retailer’s success. This latest research shows that it’s not only just browsing and buying channels that should be joined up and coherent to customers, but marketing messages as well. Our eChannel Benchmark this Christmas will measure the performance of retailers who operate a number of customer touchpoints and illustrate to the industry how best to provide customers with a fluent and seamless multichannel experience”.

Mobile browsing and buying behaviour has increased dramatically over recent years and shopping from a smartphone and tablet device is now almost as popular as checking social media sites and updates from friends.

Andrew McClelland, Managing Director of IMRG, adds: “What these results clearly reveal is that the very idea of single channel engagement is now well and truly consigned to the past. It poses a significant challenge to retailers, as it means that channels need to integrate and align in real time to provide a consistent experience. For example, with such a high percentage saying that TV advertising has prompted them to visit a site, the tablet and smartphone offering would need to reference the advert topic and content very consciously at the time the advert is aired or they will appear very disconnected and the opportunity, not to mention the advertising spend, will have been wasted.”

The results strongly indicate that the majority of ‘second screeners’ use their mobile devices to browse the Internet. Retail websites were amongst the most popular sites to visit and browse, as were social media sites and search engines.

As the consumer uptake of mobile devices continues to increase, it is essential that retailers integrate all of their channels, including their marketing messages, and ensure that customers are getting the same experience no matter how they choose to interact with brands.

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