How Age Affects Your Online Shopping Habits

When you’re shopping online, what type of device do you use? Surprisingly, ​this answer may vary based on your age.

In its recent Digital Shopping Report, the IAB found that people in the 18–34 age group prefer ​to shop online on their ​smartphones, while ​older generations prefer​​ tablets. While overall, consumers are more likely to make purchases using a tablet (35%) than a smartphone (28%), the younger generation is more inclined to do so via their smartphones (43% vs. 35% on a tablet). In comparison, ​consumers in the 35–54​ age range​ are more apt to use a tablet for browsing through products and more likely to make purchases on those devices​ as well​ (41% vs. 35% general population). Consumers​ aged​ 65 and older are more than twice as likely to research and purchase goods on a tablet as compared to a smartphone.

In addition to these findings, the IAB report states that almost half of the United States population does some form of “showrooming” — comparing prices on a mobile device while in a retail store before making a purchase. If prices are better where they’re physically located, the shopper is more likely to complete the purchase in-store. If a competitor advertises a better deal, they’ll make the purchase at the competitor’s store or online.

What does this mean for ​retailers this holiday season?​ ​Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President of Research, Analytics, and Measurement at the IAB says, “The use of digital and mobile devices as a core component of the shopping experience occurs slightly differently by age groups​. If marketers and retailers want to reach the right audiences at the right time in the purchase cycle, they are going to need to understand these distinctions.”​

​In other words, ​retailers and marketers need to diversify ​the brand’s message based on the ​intended ​demographic​​. ​Knowing how to most effectively reach the right audience, at the right time, on the right type of device could lead to a huge difference in sales, not just during the holidays, but year-round.

If you need help with a responsive website or a native app for your business, please don’t hesitate to give Gloto a call. We’d love to help you become more mobile-friendly to increase your chances of converting an online shopper to a happy customer.​

Originally published at on December 4, 2015.