British mobile shoppers pontificate


UK mobile consumers show strong purchase intent but less immediacy than US searchers

UK mobile searchers spend longer looking for stuff to buy on their mobiles than shoppers in the US, according to a new study.

The research also revealed that UK mobile users are interested in local relevancy and have a high purchase intent, with more than half (56%) reporting to have ultimately made a purchase.

In the UK price comparisons and reviews are the top two mobile research activities as mobile searchers generally take time to conduct thorough research before making a purchase.

Altogether, 40% of UK mobile searchers report intending to make a purchase within the day, but an additional 35% take up to a month before making a purchase decision.

Smartphone users demonstrate more immediate needs than tablets searchers, with 22% looking to make a purchase within an hour of their search.

xAd, a mobile location-based advertising network, and Telmetrics, a mobile call measurement provider, published the research, which was conducted by Nielsen. The online survey of 1,500 UK smartphone and tablet users measured the activities consumers reported doing via mobile devices.

'As UK marketers outspend their global peers trying to reach mobile consumers, it is crucial to understand the UK mobile searcher. This study reveals critical insights about mobile purchase behaviours, including preferred research tools, activities and mobile purchase influences,' said Bill Dinan, president, Telmetrics. 'While two thirds of mobile searchers don't have a specific brand in mind, they do cite the importance of local relevancy. Advertisers that include local cues such as location info and phone numbers in their ads can positively influence mobile purchase decisions.'

Location is an important influencer for mobile search in the UK as nearly 50% of both smartphone and tablet searchers expect search locations to be within walking or driving distance. In fact, location lookups are the top smartphone research activity for restaurant and auto searches.

Smartphone users find that location is more important, as 58% are searching on the go, including nearly 15% searching outside and nearly 10% searching from public transport.

Of smartphone users, up to 77% look for a business' location info, up to 67% look up directions to the business and up to 47% look for a business' phone number.

However, only 34% of mobile searchers know exactly what they are searching for, providing advertisers considerable opportunity to influence searchers' ultimate purchase decisions. In the UK, two thirds of users notice mobile ads with 20% resulting in a click.

The top reason driving mobile ad clicks is local relevance, with nearly a third of users preferring ads that are geographically relevant. Additional reasons for clicking on ads are that the ad features a known brand, a coupon or promotional offer. Similarly, the ads that are most likely to motivate customers to make a purchase or visit a location are smartphone ads targeted to the user's search or tablet ads featuring a coupon. 

'Successful mobile advertising campaigns must be tailored to distinct device and category nuances as a 'one size fits all' approach won't produce the desired results,' said Monica Ho, vice president of marketing at xAd. 'Insights from the Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study can improve UK mobile advertisers' ad relevancy and performance and ensure mobile ads are hitting the right audience with the right message.'


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