Cybershoppers make better buying decisions on PCs than phones -- Ben-Gurion U. researchers

November 21, 2019

BEER-SHEVA, Israel...November 21, 2019 - This holiday shopping season, consumers may make better shopping decisions using their PCs rather than smart phones or other mobile devices, according to new research from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

"The issue is not actually screen size," says Prof. Lior Fink, head of the Mobile Behavior Lab and a member of the BGU Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. "It is actually the fact that sites adjusted for mobile viewing reduce the information offered on the results page and require more digging around in the site for information. Sites adjusted for PC viewing give more information right up front."

This is the first study that differentiates between screen size and information reduction, which are often mixed up. The findings will be presented next month at the International Conference on Information Systems, the top academic conference in the field.

In 2018, phones accounted for 47% of traffic to online stores and 36% of sales according to Adobe Analytics. Last Black Friday was the first during which there were more than $2 billion in online U.S. sales via phones.

"Most e-commerce providers use 'responsive web design' to adapt the presentation of information to the device used." Fink explains. "While mobile friendly presentation improves visibility, it reduces the amount of information and causes consumers to make decisions that are less consistent with their preferences."

From a pure decision-making perspective, the study shows it is better to simply present the same information irrespective of the device used. Consumers will find the information more difficult to view on mobile devices, but their decisions will be more accurate.

Prof. Fink and his master's student Daniele Papismedov conducted two experiments in the Mobile Behavior Lab focused on choosing a fictitious hotel room among 11 room options. Participants viewed the information either on a PC or on a mobile device. They viewed eight informational features about each room option on the PC display and only three on a mobile display. While all the information was available in both displays, it was more readily available on the PC display. The assignments to a specific device and to a specific display were independent of each other.

The experiments showed that when the same information was presented on both screens right up front, equally accurate decisions were made. As a result, the research showed that participants made decisions that were less accurate and less aligned with their preferences as a consequence of the mobile display but not as a consequence of the mobile device.

Whether it is selecting a hotel room, a new outfit or a new television, the researchers believe that shoppers will have a more accurate shopping experience in line with their preferences using a PC rather than a mobile friendly format.
-end-
The research was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation.American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion's vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University's expertise locally and around the globe. As Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) looks ahead to turning 50 in 2020, AABGU imagines a future that goes beyond the walls of academia. It is a future where BGU invents a new world and inspires a vision for a stronger Israel and its next generation of leaders. Together with supporters, AABGU will help the University foster excellence in teaching, research and outreach to the communities of the Negev for the next 50 years and beyond. Visit vision.aabgu.org to learn more. AABGU, headquartered in Manhattan, has nine regional offices throughout the United States. For more information, visit http://www.aabgu.org.

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Related Consumers Articles from Brightsurf:

When consumers trust AI recommendations--or resist them
The key factor in deciding how to incorporate AI recommenders is whether consumers are focused on the functional and practical aspects of a product (its utilitarian value) or on the experiential and sensory aspects of a product (its hedonic value).

Do consumers enjoy events more when commenting on them?
Generating content increases people's enjoyment of positive experiences.

Why consumers think pretty food is healthier
People tend to think that pretty-looking food is healthier (e.g., more nutrients, less fat) and more natural (e.g., purer, less processed) than ugly-looking versions of the same food.

How consumers responded to COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for laying out the different threats that consumers face, and that consumers must prepare themselves for a constantly shifting landscape moving forward.

Is less more? How consumers view sustainability claims
Communicating a product's reduced negative attribute might have unintended consequences if consumers approach it with the wrong mindset.

In the sharing economy, consumers see themselves as helpers
Whether you use a taxi or a rideshare app like Uber, you're still going to get a driver who will take you to your destination.

Helping consumers in a crisis
A new study shows that the central bank tool known as quantitative easing helped consumers substantially during the last big economic downturn -- a finding with clear relevance for today's pandemic-hit economy.

'Locally grown' broccoli looks, tastes better to consumers
In tests, consumers in upstate New York were willing to pay more for broccoli grown in New York when they knew where it came from, Cornell University researchers found.

Should patients be considered consumers?
No, and doing so can undermine efforts to promote patient-centered health care, write three Hastings Center scholars in the March issue of Health Affairs.

Consumers choose smartphones mostly because of their appearance
The more attractive the image and design of the telephone, the stronger the emotional relationship that consumers are going to have with the product, which is a clear influence on their purchasing decision.

Read More: Consumers News and Consumers Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.