The multi-device mobile shopper

Highlights from a 2012 study of emerging retail behavior conducted by comScore on behalf of PayPal

Multi-Device Trends

Key Stats:

  • 55% of smartphones are used for shopping activities in a brick and mortar retail store.
  • 25% of people with dual devices (smartphone and tablet) have scanned a QR code or barcode in store.
  • Mobile tripled its share of total e-commerce in the past year – Q4 2010 was at 3% and Q4 2011 was at 9%.
  • PCs dominate working hours (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.); tablets rule the home (5 p.m. to 8 p.m); prime for commerce is from 8 p.m. to midnight).
  • 50% of online buyers who own a smartphone have bought on them; 62% who own a tablet have bought on them.
  • 9/10 of online shopping happens from home.
  • Half of mobile owners are shopping on mobile devices from home.
  • At home, 33% shop from their smartphone and 28% shop from their tablet.
  • 2/3 of mobile shoppers are watching TV while they shop.

Top 5 Tips for Retailers

  1. Embrace the multi-device shopper through both a mobile optimized site and a product search-friendly mobile app.
  2. Use the data about how people shop on mobile – both what devices and by what times of day and modalities of shopping – to inform content selection and device optimization for tablets and smartphones.
  3. Address "scan and scram" in-store shoppers by using loyalty programs including rewards and couponing, plus training sales staff to spot the behavior and help these shoppers get the info they need so they don't walk out the door or purchase from another retailer online.
  4. Encourage mobile impulse shopping with universal sign in (between the wired and mobile web) and simple check out through a known and trusted payment provider.
  5. Mobile and location go hand in hand: use the power of geo-triggered services, like PayPal Media Network, which can encourage in-store loyalty and on site purchases.

PCs dominate working hours; tablets rule the home; late night is prime for commerce

Key Findings:

  • Consumers are using smartphones and tablets for a broad range of commerce-related activities both at home and in store.
  • People who own both tablets and smartphones tend to be more active in the purchase process and also report the highest increase in their e-commerce spend.
  • Mobile devices are being integrated throughout the purchase process but consumers have strong preferences for which device they use at various stages. Among those who own multiple devices, more than one-third of purchases are started on one device and completed on another: PCs are still the preference for the actual purchase while phones and tablets are more likely to be preferred for shopping.
  • Smartphones lead to more impulse purchasing, and increase price scrutiny as they enable consumers to purchase from online retail vendors while in a physical retail store – pitting physical retailers against online retailers in a dual of immediacy and accessibility vs. price.
  • Accessibility is the key driver of on-device purchasing, but for a substantial number of consumers, concerns about security or complexity of the check-out process can hinder the sale.
  • Overall there are high levels of satisfaction with purchasing via mobile devices and both single and multi-device shoppers report increased reliance on mobile commerce in the future.

Mobile shopping and commerce is going on throughout the day but has its own distinct "primetimes" for activity based on the device. PCs rule the workday while tablets dominate at home and peak in usage during television primetime. Mobile phones fill in the on-the-go gaps in between with steady usage throughout the day.

Download the complete research report

Want to know more? Contact your PayPal Account Executive or email us.