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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

Computers Still Beat Mobile for Online Shopping

Computers Still Beat Mobile for Online Shopping
Credit: GaudiLab/Shutterstock

Despite businesses going to great lengths to improve the mobile shopping experience they offer, consumers still prefer to do their product research and online shopping via computers, new research finds.

Nearly three-quarters of smartphone users say they typically use computers when making online purchases, with more than 60 percent saying they prefer to use computers when browsing products or comparing prices online, according to a Gallup study.

"Smartphone-based commerce has a long way to go, even with the youngest generation, as most smartphone users still prefer to browse and make purchases on a computer," the study's authors wrote. "

The youngest and oldest smartphone users are the ones least likely to use smartphones for shopping. The research revealed that 16 percent of smartphone owners between the ages of 30 and 49 make purchases with their mobile devices. That's compared to just 11 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29, and 6 percent of those between 50 and 64 years old.

Those results still hold true when simply browsing products online, with 30 to 49 year-olds being the most likely age group to window-shop on their smartphones. [New Google Shopping Aims to Boost Small Business Sales ]

Overall, consumers, regardless of age, are more likely to use social media, check and respond to email, and manage finances on their smartphones, rather than use the phones for online shopping.

Reasons for the hesitation to shop on mobile devices could be related to the potential for errors, the study said.

"While Amazon offers customers one-click purchasing, thus avoiding the tedium and potential error involved with entering credit card and address information, even this is not a perfect solution for first-time buyers, and is often not available on most other retailer sites," the study's authors wrote.

"Until that changes, the computer may remain the device of choice for e-commerce, meaning retailers ought to continue optimizing the large-screen online retail experience for consumers."

The study was based on surveys of 15,766 U.S. adult smartphone owners.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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