How Screens Impact Consumer Behavior

guy looking at tablet and tv
The following is a guest post.
Today’s media world features a whole host of devices with screens, from the smallest smartphones to the largest televisions. Many of them can be interlinked or can interact to exchange data, which complicates the process of figuring out how consumers behave today. There are a number of distinct traits many consumers exhibit, however. Computers, smartphones, tablets, and TVs are the four primary types of screens.There are a few important things to note when considering the devices people use, the purposes they use them for, and the method by which they select a device to use. Here’s the rundown on how screens are changing consumer behavior.

We choose devices based on our context.

Contextual choices are important. Consumers who want to purchase something online while they are on the go may choose a tablet rather than a smartphone, those who want to send an email may choose the device with the best email program installed, and those who want to perform a secure transaction may opt to wait until they’re home to use a desktop computer, for example. If you’re a marketer looking to cater to an audience who is always on the go, you’d better make sure your product is able to handle smartphones and tablets. If your target audience is not technologically savvy, desktop computers will be the primary mode of consumption.

We multi-screen in two distinct ways.

People may use more than one screen at once, called simultaneous screening, or move from one to another, which is called sequential screening. If you’re looking to check your Facebook feed as you watch TV, you could do it simultaneously by scrolling on your smartphone while you watch TV, or you could pause and use an Internet-enabled TV to do it. As you might expect, these multi-screen activities function differently. When you are simultaneously using different devices, your attention is typically split between devices, but when you move from one to another, your attention is more focused.

Televisions are usually used simultaneously.

The days when families would intently watch a television and not do anything else are gone. TVs are the devices most often used simultaneously, as people may read, check email, interact on social media, text message, or do a host of other screen-based activities while watching TV. Our attention is typically split between these devices, so TV ads are less effective and mobile ads may be more likely to attract attention than ever before.


Smartphones are the central point.

Daily media interactions are focused on smartphones today. The highest number of user interactions occur on smartphones, and consumers tend to start on their smartphones before simultaneously or sequentially using other screens. It’s important to ensure that media caters to smartphones, including websites and apps. Smartphones are often the first devices used during the day, and they account for 38 percent of daily media interactions, which primarily focus on communication and entertainment.

People today interact with, shop for, and engage with brands very differently today as a result of our multi-screen world. Most people choose a screen based on their context, such as the time they have available and the goal they want to achieve, so understanding your audience and where they are likely to be is key to fulfilling their needs.

Dennis McIntosh is a self-proclaimed marketing genius. He loves writing about all things marketing for small business blogs. To view deals on internet services in your area, visit the link.