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Tablet users shop more on their device than PC and smartphone users

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Consumers are spending increasing amounts of time on mobile connected devices, with time spent on tablets playing a significant role in purchasing decisions as consumers find new ways to research and interact with brands, according to a global study on 8400 people carried out by InMobi, an independent mobile advertising network, and Mobext, a mobile marketing network.

Media consumption in the UK is clearly changing, with comScore reporting 72% growth in tablet ownership in the second half of 2011 alone. According to InMobi and Mobext’s global consumer research, 63% of tablet users in the UK agreed that it is easier to access media content on a tablet than on a mobile or laptop/desktop. When asked about activities carried out on mobile devices, tablet users carry out an average of 3.9 activities given a list of six broad options in the last 30 days. This was higher than both laptop (3.6) and smartphone (2.7) users

When considering browsing and purchasing patterns, the research found that tablet users purchased more regularly than on any other device. Additionally over 20% of tablet users claim to shop less in bricks and mortar stores, since purchasing their device. Over two thirds (69%) of tablet users had shopped via their device in the last 30 days, with almost 1 in 10 of these consumers happy to use their tablet for a ‘big ticket’ purchase, in contrast with smartphone users who typically use their device for functional purchases (2.9%).

Chris Bourke, Managing Director at Mobext, explains: “The arrival of game-changing touchscreen technology has given rise to rapid changes in media consumption patterns and left digital advertisers in a Liminal-Media-Space; this new phenomena is characterised by acute advertiser anxiety when trying to configure their digital marketing plans. Mobext and InMobi’s unique research aims to assuage this angst by helping brands understand the role that Tablets and other connected devices play in the consumer sales journey and we go on to recommend a framework that advertisers can use to plan across this new fragmented device ecosystem.”

The research also revealed that 72% of respondents watch TV while using their tablet and a fifth of consumers stated that they watched more TV following a tablet purchase. Almost a third of current non-tablet owners said they were likely to purchase one in the next six months, further fuelling on-device purchasing.

John Stoneman, Sales Director EME at InMobi concludes: “Media consumption habits are indeed evolving, with digital consumers supplementing or even replacing time spent with traditional forms of media, such as print readership and much purchasing now happens in the home via a mobile device. The research shows there is a strong correlation between the use of tablet devices and TV viewing, with the UK showing the highest levels of ‘dual-screening’ across the globe. Considering the path to purchase point; tablets are being used to research and browse products; which is then followed by a decision to buy the product. Notably we discovered that when consumers shop on tablets, they spend more than on any other device.”

The global research indicated that tablet and smartphone users access media content on any device most frequently in several ‘snack’ sessions throughout the day, (58% tablets, 56% smartphones) with a continued appetite for enhanced or rich media.

The research findings has enabled InMobi and Mobext to produce for the first time, a Connected Device planning tool that allows advertisers to determine, by context, which devices should be up weighted when planning digital campaigns that target consumers using multiple devices. Mobext and InMobi have published a unique infographic, ‘Role of Connected Devices in the Consumer Sales Journey’ that serves as an at-a-glance guide to planning across connected devices.

Advertisers looking for more detail can, on request, access the Mobext and InMobi Online Global Connected Device Metrics Dashboard. The tool allows brands to cut and dice all of the data collected in the global survey to help them make intelligent decisions when planning connected digital consumer campaigns.

Further research findings:

• 51% use a tablet to fill what would previously have been ‘dead time’

• 49% of respondents share their tablet with family members

• 44% said they would not want to be separated from their tablet

• 42% said that their tablet device has revolutionised the way they communicate with friends/colleagues.

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