Nearly 50% of smartphone owners use their mobile to search for product information after seeing a TV ad, according to a new study from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The survey also found that 38% of respondents used their smartphone instore while shopping, with 49% of this group using their mobile to compare prices with other retailers.

Research agency GfK interviewed over 800 smartphone owners to track the purchase journey of their most recently purchased product.

When researching the product 78% of respondents used a PC, while 54% used a mobile.

Moving onto the transaction stage, 80% opted to make the purchase on a PC while 34% used a mobile.

The proportion of shoppers making a purchase a mobile device is high, and previous research has shown that tablets are leading the way in terms of conversion rate at 3.8% compared to 1.9% on desktop.

The IAB’s study also shows that tablets are proving to be a strong revenue stream for retailers, with respondents who own a tablet spending 4.4 hours per week browsing retail sites and also making a purchase every week.

Our recent Conversion Rate Optimization Report found that just 16% of companies are conducting any kind of usability testing on tablets, but these stats show that retailers (and fashion brands especially) need to take notice of the iPad. 

GfK research director Ryan Garner said that the more connected devices consumers own, the more their behaviours change and the more complex purchasing habits become. 

Those brands and retailers that can best accommodate this changing dynamic will be best placed to generate new sales and capitalise on consumers’ desire to use their smartphone for research and purchase more in the future.”