Fifty-two percent of U.S. mobile consumers either own a tablet or regularly use one owned by someone in their household, according to a new study, “The Heartbeat of Connected Culture: Smartphones and Tablets,” by New York-based consulting and market research firm Frank N. Magid Associates Inc. This finding is comparatively higher than most estimates right now—in June, the Pew Research Center found that 56% of American adults own a smartphone and 34% own a tablet—since the survey included a wider age range and asked if respondents “use” the devices rather than own them. The survey predicts that 80% of Americans will use a smartphone on a regular basis next year and 64% will use a tablet.
The study also focused on how consumers are using these devices to consume media. Mobile is the new dominant media platform, according to the study, as 45% of smartphone users and 71% of tablet viewers now watch not just short video clips but also long-form movies, sporting events and TV programs on their devices. Respondents said that 29% of their daily TV time is spent on tablets or smartphones. But respondents keep their phones and tablets in hand when they switch over to watching TV on the big screen: 37% of time spent watching TV includes simultaneous smartphone use, and 29% of TV time is spent browsing on tablets.
E-commerce is the fastest growing activity that respondents said they do on their smartphones, from 14% to 32% year over year, a 233% increase. But it’s on tablets where consumers do the majority of their online shopping, as 50% of respondents said they regularly online shop on that device. Online shopping is also the most popular activity done on tablets while simultaneously watching TV, according to the study.
To take advantage of this multi-screen behavior, marketers should be integrating all of the comparison-shopping tools that consumers are used to having on their PCs, Tom Godfrey, executive director of mobile strategy at Magid, told Marketing News Exclusives. “On their mobile devices and in bricks-and-mortar stores, consumers are looking for the same kinds of e-commerce tools that they’ve had from the online world, things like product recommendations and how-to videos. … Marketers should be helping to guide shoppers, not just to purchase products on mobile but to feel like they are able to purchase the products that make the most sense for them in an easy and facilitated way.”
For more on multi-screen behavior, check out the November 2013 issue of Marketing News, available online next month at MarketingPower.com/marketingnews.