Differences and similarities in the way U.K. and U.S. consumers use mobile devices vary based on lifestyle. While both cite the ability to compare prices and read reviews as top mobile research activities, 62% of U.K. consumers using mobile search are more likely to use their devices at home, compared with 52% in the U.S.
Location-based ad network xAd, and mobile call measurement provider Telmetrics jointly released findings from the U.K. Path-To-Purchase study analyzing mobile search in the United Kingdom. The study conducted by Nielsen measures 1,500 U.K. smartphone and tablet users and what they report doing via mobile devices.
Some 40% of U.K. consumers who search for information on products and services on a mobile device make a purchase within the day, compared with 56% of U.S. consumers. About 35% of U.K. consumers vs. 25% of U.S. consumers take up to a month before making a purchase decision. Smartphone users in the U.K. demonstrate more immediate needs than tablet searchers, with 22% intending to make a purchase within an hour of their search.
Twelve percent of U.K. mobile searchers prefer walking to local businesses to make a purchase , compared to 8% of consumers in the U.S. And 9% of U.K. mobile searchers versus 17% of U.S. mobile searchers look to make a purchase decision immediately.
Overall, U.K. consumers put an emphasis on buying from local merchants, making Restaurant and Auto two categories at the top of the list. Among smartphone owners, map and navigational apps and sites are the most popular for restaurant and automotive categories with 45% and 32%, respectively, while brand Web sites are most popular for Travel users at 49%. Up to 77% of consumers using smartphones look for business location information, compared with 67% who look up directions to the business and up to 47% who look for a business' phone number.
For tablet users in the U.K., brand apps and sites are the most popular for the Travel and Automotive categories at 47% and 34%, respectively, while map and navigational apps and sites are most popular for Restaurants at 32%.
The xAd and Telmetrics study also found that only 34% of mobile searchers know exactly what they want, so more tend to pay attention to ads. In the U.K., two-thirds of users notice mobile ads, resulting in 20% click-through rates. Local relevance is the driving reason, with nearly one-third of users preferring ads that are geographically relevant, along with coupons or promotional offers.