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US males are biggest smartphone shoppers

News, 16 December 2014

NEW YORK: Younger American men are significantly more likely than any other demographic to use their smartphones to make purchases rather than just carry out research, according to a new survey.

The study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and Precision Market Insights from Verizon, entitled Holiday Shopping in a Cross-Screen World, was based on a poll of 2,013 adults, including 1,176 smartphone owners.

It found that three-quarters (76%) of male smartphone users aged 18 to 34 made a purchase via smartphone in a typical month compared to 59% of females in the same age group. In the population at large the gender divide was not quite so marked at 56% men, 45% women.

Millennial men were also the biggest spenders on mobile, with 39% spending $51 or more via smartphone in an average month, compared to 27% of overall survey participants.

During the current holiday almost two thirds of smartphone owners plan on utilising their device in some shopping capacity and those shopping this way will be hoping primarily to save money (51% of respondents) and time (36%).

The report further found that while holiday-themed ads were definitely having an impact generally – 92% had seen some prior to Thanksgiving across a full range of media channels – this was limited when it came to mobile, with just 29% saying they had specifically seen holiday-related ads on their phones during the same time period.

As well as shopping via mobile, many people will also be shopping for mobiles and giving them as gifts. The study highlighted holiday opportunities here for advertisers.

"Conventional wisdom has held that consumers may not be as receptive to advertising messages during the week between Christmas and New Year's, but with nearly one in five American smartphone users planning to spend 'New Device Week' learning about and accessorising newly received devices, advertisers have a unique opportunity to connect with an audience that is engaged and primed to make a purchase," said Colson Hillier, Vice President, Precision Market Insights.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff