Mobile-First Matters More Than Ever As Youths Drive Smartphone Shopping

As consumers acquire more and more devices, particularly smaller technology such as smartphones and wearables, retail marketers and developers will need to tailor e-Commerce shopping experiences to a diverse mobile-first target audience. Younger shoppers in particular are driving the use of smartphones for purchasing, with consumers under 44 years old preferring to make purchases on these devices over every other technology except the laptop.

The difference in shopping preference within two adjacent age brackets is stark: 45-to-54 year-olds are 46% less likely to buy from a smartphone than 35-to-44 year-olds, according to a survey from Bronto Software and Ipsos.

On the whole, smartphone ownership has grown rapidly within three years, leaping from 51% of all consumers to 75%, with approximately half of these owners using these devices to shop online.


The report, titled: The Influence of Multi-Device Ownership on Ecommerce, studied 1,000 U.S. adults with access to a least one of the following devices: a laptop, a smartphone, a desktop computer, a tablet and a wearable.

Wearables See More Shopping Activity

Although shopping has increased substantially on every device, the smaller, non-traditional computing devices have shown the most dramatic increases within the past year:

  • 79% of all shoppers surveyed report shopping more frequently using a wearable device than they did last year, though less than 10% of all consumers actually shop this way;

  • 64% shop more frequently on a smartphone; and

  • 60% shop more frequently on a tablet.

Laptops and desktops still play a large role in the online purchase process, with 63% of shoppers having purchased using a laptop in the past year, and 49% having purchased on desktops.

In total, adults in the U.S. now own an average of 2.9 devices for their computing and Internet needs, showing that shoppers are likely going to demand consistent experiences regardless of which device they access their favorite retailer from. While the average person isn’t necessarily using all 2.9 of these devices to shop in every instance, they definitely aren’t browsing and shopping from just one device. These consumers use an average of 1.9 devices for browsing online and 1.8 for making a final purchase.

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