Wi-Fi ad network JiWire releases a quarterly report based on surveys of its users, who are accessing WiFi on laptops, smartphones and, increasingly, tablets. JiWire delivers advertising to thousands of public Wi-Fi locations in numerous countries. Its survey samples are typically 1,000 to 2,000 consumers.
The Q3 data (drawn mainly from US and UK users) show the dramatic growth of tablets and a range of other attitudes and behaviors. The data are not representative of all consumers but a somewhat more “advanced” audience. For example, 62 percent of JiWire survey respondents own a smartphone and 37 percent own a tablet. (In the broader population tablet ownership is near 10 or 11 percent, while smartphone ownership in the US is 40 to 44 percent.)
JiWire found that consumers are shifting from laptops to alternative, connected devices. According to the survey, “consumers are 50 percent more likely to purchase a Smartphone or Tablet than a Laptop” in this most recent survey. The company also reported that “tablet consumers connecting to Wi-Fi have nearly doubled since 2010, increasing from 19 percent in Q4 2010 to 35 percent to Q3 2011, a relative increase of 84 percent.”
JiWire asked its users about mobile purchase activity and found somewhat higher levels of purchase behavior and comfort with tablets vs. smartphones. Electronics, retail and entertainment were the top mobile buying categories.
Consistent with our semi-controversial post this past weekend about the offline impact of paid search retail campaigns, JiWire’s survey found that 85 percent of its respondents shop in physical stores while 15 percent shop primarily online.
Finally, when asked about “check-in services” this audience expressed mostly negative or confused feelings, with 65 percent saying they “don’t care,” “don’t like it” or “don’t understand it.” Thirty five percent liked or loved check-ins and only 8 percent expressed outright hostility.
A great many marketers haven’t yet adapted to how many people are using mobile devices to access the internet. Email marketing is a great case-in-point. One of the primary use cases for mobile, I’m often surprised to click through on email campaigns and be taken to the PC version of the site in question — this morning for me it was Hotels.com. Typically these experiences are awkward, creating abandonment and lost sales.
In addition, most mobile purchase activity occurs at home where many people are using mobile devices instead of their PCs. At this point every marketer needs to have a mobile optimized site and/or mobile optimized landing pages. If not, they’re losing sales.