NEW YORK: Combining mobile with the in-store experience is the most effective method of reaching "millennial moms", who also use different devices for different categories, a new report has found.

The study, conducted by mobile ad network Millennial Media for Ansible, Interpublic's mobile ad agency, analysed the behaviour of 535 millennial mothers aged 18 to 34, Mobile Marketing reported.

Looking at how they behave across four product categories – retail, consumer electronics, consumer goods and automotive – the report found almost three-quarters (73%) use smartphones for consumer electronics content.

This compares with just a quarter (24%) of millennial mothers who use desktop PCs for this category and 3% who use tablets.

By contrast, three-quarters use PCs to investigate the auto category – most probably because of the larger screen size – compared to just 15% who use smartphones and 10% who use tablets.

When out shopping, millennial moms use their mobile devices to take pictures of products (50%), text family and friends (39%) and send product photos to others (40%).

This finding prompted Ansible CEO Angela Steele to urge retailers and FMCG brands to link their apps to the real world shopping habits of millennial mothers.

"Combining mobile with the in-store experience is really the strongest use of mobile," she advised.

Mobile devices also play an important role in helping millennial mothers to find inspiration about a particular product, the report found.

About a third of those surveyed said smartphones played a role helping them with research and to get ideas, with a fifth (21%) making a purchase.

Tablets played a similar role for a quarter (25%) at the inspiration and research stage, with 18% making a purchase.

This could be of particular importance when considering that millennial mothers tend to have higher rates of mobile device ownership. The survey found 85% have a smartphone and 43% own a tablet.

Also, over half (53%) are in full-time employment and 69% are married with a household income of over $50,000, the report said.

Data sourced from Mobile Marketing; additional content by Warc staff