In the era of consumer technology, it’s ever more important to focus on the way people enjoy buying, as this influences which products become successes and failures. In the old days, product designers knew exactly where their products would be seen and purchased. Even today, companies like Apple hearken back to this old model, when customers would go to a company store to buy a company product. And even though there are still plenty of Apple Stores out there in the wild, there are tons of other ways to buy Apple products. Without being conscious of the changing buying behaviors of their customers, Apple would have been left in the dust long ago.
Today, more people are doing more of their shopping online. Using desktop units, mobile and smartphone devices, and tablets, they’re finding and buying the products they want, from all around the world. But different age groups demonstrate much different device preferences when it comes to shopping. There are even marked differences between the genders. For people who want to sell a lot of products, or who are just breaking into the retailing sector, these are the kinds of statistics that are important to understand. And it’s companies like who are providing the analysis, as they have in a recent study.
USIO shows that even among closely related age groups, there are surprising ups and downs in shopping device preferences. For instance, 25-34 year olds prefer to shop with their mobile/smartphone, more than any other device. They are the only age group that uses the mobile devices for this purpose, this often, 44.9% compared to 41.4% desktop preference. The two age groups on either side of them desktop shopping, as do every other age group, in fact.
For 18-24 year olds, desktops win compared to mobiles, 44.2% to 40.4%. Among 35-44 year olds, it’s 40% to 36.6%. Beyond this, the discrepancy is more pronounced. For 45-54 year olds, it’s 53.7% to 20.7%. For 55-64 year olds, it’s 60.4% to 13.8%. For those 65 and older, desktop shopping wins by a landslide, 66.4% to 6.2%.
There are many ways to understand this data. Perhaps older people prefer desktop units because they’re been around longer, desktops having been fixtures in homes and offices for decades, with smartphones coming around much later. Whatever the case, it’s important for retailers to realize that these technology preferences exist among age groups and demographics, and to create the shopping experience these customers want.
Today, shopping itself is a product. If you don’t provide the consumer experience your customer is looking for, they’ll go somewhere else for it. All purchases and subscriptions are an extension of this central technology experience. It’s one that is a moving target. This has always been the case in retailing, with consumer preferences and fashions ever changing. But this evolution is happening faster than ever before. Pay attention to how your customers are shopping, and you’ll find that you have a lot more of them.