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Millennials prefer mobiles for online shopping

04 December 2015 - 09:29 by Graham Miller

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A new study by the Interactive Advertising Bureau has revealed that the under-35s are much more likely to make a purchase via safe shopping online with a smartphone than their older counterparts, indicating that there is a real generational shift in e-commerce habits taking place at the moment.

43 per cent of millennials said that mobiles were their go-to gadget when making online purchases, with only a third of the people in this age group instead turning to tablets.

In the wider population, tablets are preferred over smartphones, suggesting that youngsters either do more shopping on the move while older consumers are more content to sit back with a larger device in hand, when browsing e-commerce sites.

44 per cent of 18 to 34 year old respondents to the study said that they tend to look up reviews of products on their portable handsets, which is again an above-average uptake for this type of activity. And the good news for bricks and mortar retailers is that two thirds of millennials participate in showrooming - visiting a real world outlet to check out an item before making an online purchase.

This means that the cross-over between e-commerce and high street retail is being maintained even among a generation that has grown up with online shopping on tap at all times.

Tablets are especially popular among the over-55s, with this age group exhibiting twice the likelihood to make a purchase from this platform, as opposed to from a mobile handset.

Report spokesperson, Anna Bager, said that the generational differences in e-commerce trends identified in the report will highlight the challenges that retailers and marketers face going forwards. But the key point to take away from this is that smartphones almost certainly represent the future of shopping online.