Dollar SignMen are much more likely than women (56% to 45%) to make purchases via smartphone, according to a new study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and Verizon’s Precision Markets Insights.

The gender difference in smartphone purchases is stronger within the “younger demographic,” with 76 percent of male smartphone users ages 18-34 making such purchases in a typical month as compared to 59 percent of females in this age group.

Eighteen to 34-year olds are also among “the biggest spenders on mobile”: 39 percent of 18 to 34-year old smartphone users said they spend at least $51 or more making purchases via smartphone in an average month. That compares to 27 percent of survey participants overall.

Spending Via Smartphone
Parents that have smartphones and children under 18 spend via mobile at a similar level, according to the study, entitled, “Holiday Shopping in a Cross-Screen World.”

Smartphones ranked second only to computers among CE devices used for shopping. Forty percent of smartphone owners said they use their device to research products. Looking forward to the year-end holidays, when asked for the most important reasons they’ll shop via their devices, the top responses were:

  • Getting best price/saving money (51%)
  • Saving time (36%);
  • Making it quick and easy to search, research, find what I’m looking for (35%).

Almost two-thirds said they plan on researching, shopping for or purchasing products via smartphone during this holiday season. The most popular product or services included:

  • Clothing (36%);
  • Dining out (31%);
  • Music, videos, and/or books (29%);
  • Toys & games (29%);
  • Consumer electronics (29%).

Fully 92 percent said they had seen holiday ads prior to Thanksgiving across media channels. Less than one-third (29 percent) said they had specifically seen holiday-related ads on their phones, however.

Marketer Opportunities
Commenting on the market research results, IAB Senior Vice President Anna Bager said: “We see this research as reflecting the growing importance of smartphones among the multiplicity of screens, media, and devices at consumers’ disposal, signaling an opportunity for marketers to reach consumers at the time and place where they are already holiday shopping – on their phones.

“In addition, with smartphones, tablets, and other devices gaining traction as shopping channels year-round, it is important that we understand exactly how consumers interact with these screens to research, shop for, and purchase products, so advertisers can accurately target them in a timely fashion, as they are doing on other media platforms.”

Twenty percent of smartphone users said they planned to spend part of the week between Christmas and New Year’s learning about and purchasing accessories for new devices received as gifts during the holidays. That offers advertisers a good opportunity to reach consumers via mobile, according to IAB and Precision.

“Conventional wisdom has held that consumers may not be as receptive to advertising messages during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, but with nearly one in five American smartphone users planning to spend ‘New Device Week’ learning about and accessorizing newly received devices, advertisers have a unique opportunity to connect with an audience that is engaged and primed to make a purchase,” Precision Market Insights’ Vice President Colson Hillier said.