Technology Tracker Q4 2016

80% of 16-34 year olds use a smartphone in their purchase journey.

The author(s)

  • Prachi Jain Ipsos Connect, UK
  • Eda Koray Ipsos Connect, UK
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In the latest quarterly update of the Ipsos Tech Tracker 80% of 16-34 year olds used a smartphone during their purchase journey but only 40% of 35% year olds do the same. They prefer using either a PC, laptop or tablet. 40% of 16-34 year olds have used a smartphone to buy a product, this number drops to 15% for 35+. Overall, GB households who use a smartphone during their purchase journey are most likely to buy clothes via this device (56%).

Internet usage remains high with nearly 90% but continues to be significantly lower for the lowest social grade and those over 65. Only 35% of DE females have accessed the internet in the last 3 months. This group is unsurprisingly also among those least likely to own a smartphone (16%) with only males from the same social grade being less likely to own one (14%).

Internet usage

Almost 90% of GB adults claim that they have accessed the internet in the last three months. The proportion of adults using mobile phones to do this has been increasing steadily and is at 71% in Q4’16. The top online activities remain: accessing email (81%), browsing for information on personal interest (72%), researching products and services (70%) and online shopping (67%).

Connected home

Smart TV ownership is now at nearly 3 in 10. Just under half own a tablet, with over a quarter owning an iPad. Nearly 2 in 5 of GB adults have at least one gaming console in their household with 1 in 5 owning Micrsoft’s Xbox360 or Xbox One. Nearly a quarter own ebook readers. 3D TV ownership has flatlined.

Social networking

Smartphones (40%) have overtaken PC/Laptop (38%) in terms of device used to access social media. With a more mainstream appeal, Facebook remains the most visited social networking site (60% in Q4’16) Instagram (21%), Twitter (21%), G+(21%) and Snapchat (18%) all enjoy similar usage.


Smartphone ownership is now at 74%. iOS (39%) and Android (35%) penetration remains similar to previous. Top 3 activities on smartphones: reading or sending emails (69%), visiting social networking sites (54%) and browsing websites (48%) Online banking has also climbed, now at 47%.


Ownership of tablets remains stable at 49%. The gap between ownership of iPads and non-iPad tablets remains close (28% vs. 26%). Top activities on tablet: reading or sending emails (63%), browsing websites (53%), online shopping (51%) and visiting social networking sites (49%).

Content consumption

Buying of games on a disc for a console has recovered since Q2 ’15, with 17% doing so. There is a steady upwards trend in consumption of TV via digital means (37%).

The Purchase Journey

Over half of people use their smartphone in their purchase journey – but this is heavily skewed to 15-34s, with 80% doing so. Less than half (40%) of 35+ do so. 35+ are also heavier users of PC/Laptop/Tablet in the purchase journey, with under 35’s opting for smartphones instead. Items purchased via smartphone differ based on gender, with significantly more males buying electricals on their smartphones than females, and vice versa with health & beauty products.

The author(s)

  • Prachi Jain Ipsos Connect, UK
  • Eda Koray Ipsos Connect, UK

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