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PCs Still Tops for Web Shopping Across Categories

Most have bought via mobile, but still prefer the desktop

Though computers are still the most preferred devices for online shopping activities, according to September 2013 research from ChoiceStream, more than half of internet users have browsed—and bought—at least something via mobile.

The survey of internet users in the US found that 87.3% liked using their computer for online shopping best, with just 7.4% choosing tablets and 5.3% choosing smartphones. And researching products on computers was done by nearly nine out of 10. Still, more than half had researched or booked at some point via mobile.

The most common category for mobile research was restaurants, though even there, respondents were some 20 percentage points more likely to have done so via computers. For travel products, the second-most-common mobile research category, internet users were more than twice as likely to use computers.

Completing a purchase via mobile was less common, though still, more than half of respondents had done so at some point. The most common category was games and apps—unsurprising, as they are digital content—but even here, buying via PC was more popular.

eMarketer estimates 79.5 million US internet users will buy goods or services via mobile devices at least once this calendar year, including 52.3 million who will buy via smartphones and 71.1 million who will buy via tablets. Next year, the total will rise to nearly 100 million mobile buyers.

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