College students prefer to shop online from their laptop or smartphone, rather than using a tablet or other computerized device.
In a new student panel survey from NACS OnCampus Research, 82.5% of respondents said they had shopped on their laptop at least once in the preceding 90 days. On average, they made 3.2 purchases via the laptop.
More than 70% indicated they shopped on their smartphone during the same time period, transacting almost two purchases on the device on average. In contrast, just 29.7% went shopping on a desktop computer, 28.2% on a tablet, 5.2% on a transformer or hybrid device, 2.2% on a netbook, and 1.4% on an e-reader.
Approximately 37.4% of students admitted to browsing for merchandise information or buying something on their phone every single day. Even so, shopping ranked just 11th on the list of 13 daily activities students conduct during the 5.2 hours they average on their phones. Topping that list, not unexpectedly, was text messaging (96%), searching the Internet (89.3%), accessing email (89.2%), social networking (80.7%), and phone calls (78.6%).
At the bottom of the list were video messages (11.4%) and reading books, magazines, and other materials (17.2%).
The survey also showed that many students don’t regard certain small electronics to be “mobile.” Nearly all students consider a smartphone to be mobile and 63.2% would apply that term to tablets. However, fewer than half of students think of iPods, laptops, e-readers, hybrid devices, and netbooks as mobile—possibly because they don’t use these devices away from home, unlike phones and tablets. Educators, marketers, retailers, and others who refer to “mobile” devices in discussions and promotions might want to clarify that for a student audience.