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Forty-somethings are on tablets, teens use smartphones – but in very different ways

Thursday, 12 September 2013 | By Patrick Stafford

Australians in their 40s are more likely to buy products while browsing on tablets, while consumers who make their purchases on smartphones are likely to be either teenagers or in their 20s, according to the latest Sensis e-Business report.


The information is lucrative for businesses, who should be designing their different website versions with this in mind, the report warns.


Tablet users are more likely to be looking for information on products and services along with suppliers of goods and services, at 66% and 63% respectively, while smartphone users are focused on maps, weather updates and social networking sites.


But as previous reports have found, 48% of tablet users actually order products, compared to just 36% of smartphone users.


Report author Christena Singh told SmartCompany this morning businesses should be paying attention to these different demographics and include that knowledge in their design briefs.


“For tablet users, they’re more likely to be employed full-time, they have higher incomes and what they are doing is predominantly business-related.


“There are a lot more people using tablet devices to search for products and services.”


Half of Australians connected to the internet are using tablets, the survey found, up from 34% in 2012.


Reflecting the current increase in the importance of online reviews, the report also found 36% of businesses have featured independent reviews of products or customer reviews on their websites, up by 27% in 2012.


And 76% of businesses now feature pictures of products, up from 72% last year, while 40% include pricing information, up from 37% in 2012.


The increase in companies featuring product reviews reflects the ongoing discussion of their relevance and importance – late last year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it would be cracking down on fake reviews.


Overall, businesses are adapting to the internet more. The survey found the number of SMEs using internet marketing increased to 45% in the past year, up from 38% last year, while 29% are advertising on social networks, compared to just 22% last year.


More businesses are also using search engine optimisation and paid search engine marketing.


“But the biggest increase has been in online testimonials – that’s where the biggest growth is. People want to put more information on their websites now.”


This story first appeared on SmartCompany.