Most Popular Purchases on Mobile Phones, Tablets and PCs

March 19, 2014

Experian-Most-Common-Purchases-Mobiles-PCs-Mar2014Most retailers believe that mobile will soon influence a majority of consumers’ purchases, and data from Experian Marketing Services indicates that the vast majority of mobile phone and tablet owners have purchased products and services on their devices. Experian’s 2014 Digital Marketer Report [download page] identifies 14 specific areas, revealing that – not surprisingly – mobile phone owners are less likely to have purchased each than tablet and PC owners. Interestingly, the top purchase categories are largely consistent across devices.

On PCs, the goods and services purchased by the greatest share of owners are:

  • Apparel/accessories (56% having made such a purchase);
  • Travel services/reservations (56%); and
  • Electronics (49%).

On tablets, the top 3 purchases are:

  • Apparel/accessories (47%);
  • Books (45%); and
  • Electronics/Music (each at 41%).

Finally, on mobile phones, the most common purchases are:

  • Apparel/accessories (28%);
  • Electronics (21%); and
  • Music (17%).

The prominence of apparel and accessories has been found for at least a couple of years; an early 2012 study from WorldPay similarly found clothing to be one of the most popular purchases on PCs and on mobile devices.

Of note, some products and services are more commonly purchased by tablet owners than PC owners on their respective devices. That’s particularly the case for entertainment items, such as books (45% vs. 41% purchasing), music (41% vs. 35%) and video games (33% vs. 25%).

By contrast, travel services and reservations are far more likely to be made by PC owners (56%) on their devices than by tablet (33%) or mobile phone (10%) owners. (See here for the top 10 travel websites accessed by US desktop users.)

Meanwhile, the gap was narrowest for charitable donations, made on their devices by 15% of tablet and PC owners and 10% of mobile phone owners.

Despite the large share (76%) of mobile phone owners who claimed to have made a purchase of at least one of the listed products or services, brands might struggle to make an impact through mobile advertising. Only 7% of mobile phone owners said they would be interested in receiving ads on their mobile phones, and just 9% reported being likely to buy products they see advertised on their phones. Both figures are up from 2010, but remain low.

Consumers’ most important stated elements of mobile advertising – along with their biggest concerns – can be accessed here.

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