Wednesday, December 9, 2015

According to a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the age of a mobile shopper is correlated to the size of the device they use to make online purchases. In other words, the IAB Digital Shopping Report identified critical differences in the shopping habits of various age groups, particularly when it comes to smartphones and tablets.

According to the report, 18 to 34-year-olds prefer smartphones for shopping activities; conversely 35 to 54-year-olds prefer tablets. While this may seem like a simple matter of personal preference, it’s an important distinction for marketers and advertisers, particularly as consumers gear up for holiday shopping.

“If marketers and retailers want to reach the right audiences at the right time in the purchase cycle,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President of IAB, “they are going to need to understand these distinctions.”

The report also indicates that consumers 65+ are more than twice as likely to purchase via tablet (26%) than smartphone (11%).

Further, there are distinct differences among these groups in how they shop and review products online. In particular, 18 to 34-year-olds are more likely to read and review products using smartphones and less likely to do so on tablets. Meanwhile, 35 to 54-year-olds are more likely to read and review products from their tablets.

Putting the Research Into Practice

Translating this data into real life shopping scenarios means knowing who your consumers are and how best to reach them. For instance, if a company is selling high-end designer furniture to older clients, it may be wise to design creative to read well via tablet. Conversely, understanding how to shape and design a message that reads clearly on the smaller screen of a smartphone is essential for reaching younger mobile shoppers.

With this new research in mind, mobile marketers and advertisers can more clearly define marketing plans based on the unique mobile behaviors of their target consumer groups.

While the report doesn’t explicitly relate the size of the mobile device’s screen to the age of the user, it’s a likely conclusion—as consumers get older, the size and clarity of the font and text is more easily visible on larger mobile devices, making them more desirable. Keep this in mind during the holiday season to more accurately pinpoint your consumer market and see sales figures rise.