Internet retailers are aware that today's consumers combine a mix of in-store experiences and browsing on desktop and mobile devices when shopping.
But just how active are these multichannel users, and which devices do they prefer?
According to a recent Bronto report, titled "The Influence of Multidevice Ownership on E-commerce" and released in April 2016, most American adults own three Internet-ready devices. They choose a combination of laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets and wearables that suits their needs. Despite owning three different products, these same shoppers only use two devices when shopping online.
Consumers said they used their chosen devices more than they did the previous year. Every product showed some growth – especially wearables. Nearly 80 percent of smartwatch and other wearable device owners said they shopped more frequently using the technology over the past 12 months. The only shopping channel where consumers either shopped less frequently or did not alter their shopping habits was physical stores.
Laptops and desktops still feature heavily in online shopping. Of the consumers who made online purchases last year, 63 percent did so on a laptop and 49 percent shopped on a desktop. This doesn't mean online stores should neglect smartphone and tablet owners, however. In the three years since Bronto's first version of the report, smartphone ownership increased from 51 percent to 75 percent.
Smartphone shoppers tend to be younger, but not as young as many might think. The channel was favored by middle-aged adults as well as millennials – overall, ages ranged from 18 to 44. Those 45 and older preferred shopping on a desktop computer.
Personalization across multiple devices
Today's multichannel, multidevice world means businesses must prepare for consumer engagement from a variety of areas. It also means they must consider multidevice use when personalizing their marketing efforts, said Internet Retailer.
"Each device is different, just like each consumer," said Brian Ferrario, vice president of marketing at Sociomantic, to the publication. "It's not about audiences anymore. People have come to expect marketing to be personalized, immediate, relevant, consistent, engaging and rewarding. This is especially true on mobile devices, which are the most personal technology to date."
One way businesses can start personalizing their marketing efforts is by mapping the customer journey, Multichannel Merchant said. Considering the way consumers browse products and make purchases on each device identifies key points for personalization. It also points out areas that reduce conversion and deter online payments, such as pages that are hard to read on mobile.