Effective Mobile Engagement 2015: Mobile Phone vs. Tablet: Primary Device Choice Matters

After releasing last year’s report on mobile engagement, a number of readers suggested we take a look at whether there was any difference between the behavior of mobile phone users and that of tablet users. We agreed, so in this year’s survey, we asked questions about a user’s primary device. As it turns out, this factor impacts both how frequently respondents use a device, and how they use it.

For one thing, survey results showed that tablet users, as well as those who use both phone and tablet devices equally, are more likely to be frequent mobile engagers.


Given that tablets aren’t generally used for phone calls, this should dispel the notion some might have that mobile engagement means simply taking customer calls from mobile phones. Companies that want to get serious about mobile engagement need to include the text-based channels associated with smartphones and tablets – social, text, chat and email – in their planning.

Another interesting finding from this year’s survey is that those who consider tablets their primary device, or who place equal weight on both their tablet and their phone, tend to be bigger spenders. This may be because tablets have a form factor that makes it easier to shop online. Also noteworthy, those who use their tablet and mobile phone equally are more likely to own an internet-connected device (like a home security system, thermostat or sprinkler system).

We probed respondents about whether expectations were different for live chat engagements than for engagement across all channels. We found that dual-device users (i.e., those giving equal preference to a mobile phone and a tablet) are more likely to say that their expectations about live chat engagements and support engagements across all channels change, simply because they’re occurring on a mobile device. Here’s what they said became more important:


The bottom line: dual device users are more likely to engage with companies from mobile devices, and they have different expectations about each mobile device experience. Those devising a mobile engagement strategy would do well to keep this in mind.

These are other findings from our survey are detailed in the BoldChat research report, Effective Mobile Engagement 2015, which can be downloaded here.

Jenn O'Donnell

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Jenn is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for BoldChat.