Smartphones Tapped As Daily Search, Discovery Tools

Cord-cutting will pay off for mobile advertisers as more consumers use smartphones at home to search and discover information. In fact, smartphone use in the home has grown 66% during the past year compared with the previous year, according to findings from the 3rd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study released Tuesday.

Findings from location ad platform xAd and call measurement technology provider Telmetrics see mobile dominating the consumer decision process, although nearly two-thirds of mobile-driven purchases occur offline.

In fact, mobile devices account for up to 64% of time spent online, and 42% of mobile users consider mobile the most important resource in their purchase process. More than one-third of mobile shoppers turn to mobile exclusively, and offline activity plays a major role in consumers' purchase process, as 52% reportedly visit a physical store and 64% complete their purchase offline.

The 2014 study results were compiled by Nielsen from an online survey and on-device behavioral data from 6,000 U.S. smartphone and tablet users focused on the automotive, entertainment, restaurant and telecom categories.

Searches on smartphones have become longer and more exploratory. Think search and discovery. Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics, said one in five people know what they want when picking up a smartphone to search for information, compared with one in three a year ago. Only 20% of mobile users said they knew exactly what they were looking for, down from 34% in 2013.

"Many consumers don't have a specific location in mind when they do a search," he said. "They just want a restaurant close to them. Nor have they decided on the brand or the thing they want to buy. The mobile consumer continues to move up the funnel vs. down the funnel."

Overall, mobile users continue to convert in high numbers, with two out of three making a purchase and an additional 16% planning a purchase in the near future, whereas 65% want to purchase most items in one day. The purchase rate jumps to 80% among those looking to make restaurant transactions.

Proximity matters. Some 52% of mobile consumers want a location within five miles and more than 10% of auto and telecom shoppers expect locations within walking distance. Location lookups and price are still the heaviest purchase-related activities. Consumers also cited reviews and clear contact information and phone numbers as the most important mobile features, and interest in each grew 75% and 55%, respectively, from 2013 to 2014. When it comes to contacting a business, up to 53% of mobile shoppers make a call.
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1 comment about "Smartphones Tapped As Daily Search, Discovery Tools".
  1. James Taylor from GlobalWebIndex , June 3, 2014 at 7:45 a.m.
    Smartphones and tablets definitely represent the device to watch! In our GWI Device report we found that smartphone internet users were up by 19% during 2013 - with the estimated mobile internet audience now exceeding 994 million people. Tablet usage climbed at an even faster 45% to approach the 450 million mark. In Q4 of 2013, just 22% of PC/laptop users did not use other devices to go online - people are using more devices than ever before to access, browse and purchase on the net - and this is a trend only likely to strengthen further!