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Singles, Couples Differ in Mobile Device Preferences

5 Dec, 2012 By: Doug McPherson

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It’s not only age and gender that determine the use of mobile devices. It turns out marital status does, too.

A new study by Harris Interactive commissioned by The Search Agency, finds that 49 percent of unmarried adults own a smartphone while 43 percent of married folks do. And 45 percent of married people have access to a tablet, compared to 36 percent of singles.

Beyond those findings, though, it looks like both groups want to complement their TV viewing with personal devices. The study says 78 percent are using a computer to pursue more information about products that interested them on TV, while 66 percent of all tablet owners use it for this purpose too. Yet, the 35- to-44-year-old tablet owners are most likely to look up a product on that device (81 percent), compared to only 71 percent of the younger tablet owners – although this younger segment owns more tablets overall. Although the 45-54 segment owns more tablets than the 65-plus group, seniors use their tablets to look up products on it that they see on TV more often.

Mike Solomon with The Search Agency told Mobile Marketing Daily that device usage varies according to age, marital status and other indicators, suggesting that income, the influence of children and other situational factors impact mobile device behaviors.

“So much of what we see from the study, and the marketplace in general, is how time of day and other situational factors impact behavior,” he said. “Everything from age to proximity to your television or other devices impacts how and when you reach for your computer or mobile device to shop, search or get social.”

Nearly 60 percent of respondents had done searches from their smartphones even when their computers were within arm’s reach. And 74 percent of young adults do this, too.

Solomon said the larger impact of the study is that “people are doing a lot more research. It changes the way we behave and the way we go about making purchases.” He added that while mobile searches have gone up dramatically in the last year, prices are still much lower than on the Web.

“Mobile CPCs are in general half of desktop,” he said. “Tablet CPCs are about 80 percent to 80 percent of desktop. One persistent problem for calculating true ROI on mobile is that while significant amounts of searching goes on via devices, much of that business converts on other platforms, making it difficult to attribute to devices.”

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