Smartphones are indispensible shopping tools, Google says

27 Apr 2011

Seventy-four per cent of smartphone users make a purchase as a result of using their phones to help with shopping, says Google in a major survey that shows a major seachange is occurring in online commerce.

According to the findings from the Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users study by Google and Ipsos OTX, 88pc of those who look for local information on their smartphones take action within a day. Some 71 pc of smartphone users search online because of an ad they’ve seen either offline or online.

The study looked into the buying and search habits of more than 5,000 US adult smartphone internet users.

The study found 81pc of smartphone users browse the internet, 77pc search, 68pc use an app and 48pc of them watch videos on their devices.

Some 72pc of them use their smartphones while consuming other media and a third while watching TV. Ninety-three per cent of smartphone users use their smartphones while at home.

Mobile devices result in action

The study looked into the influence of search on smartphones and found that 77pc believe search sites are the most visited sites on the smartphones followed by social networking, retail and video-sharing sites.

Nine out of 10 smartphone searches result in an action, such as purchasing or visiting a business.

Twenty-four per cent of users recommended a brand or product to others as a result of searching on their device.

Location-based decision making

Almost all (95pc) of smartphone users admit to looking for local information and 88pc take action within a day, indicating these are immediate information needs.

Some 77pc have contacted a business, with 61pc phoning the business and 59pc visiting the business.

Smartphones as shopping tools

Smartphones, Google says, have become an indispensable shopping tool and are used across channels and throughout the research and decision-making process.

Seventy-one per cent of smartphone users search on their phones because of an ad exposure whether from traditional media (68pc), online ads (18pc) and mobile ads (27pc).

Some 82pc notice mobile ads, especially mobile display ads and one-third notice mobile search ads.

Half of those who see a mobile ad take action, with 35pc visiting a website and 49pc make a purchase.

“The findings of the study have strong implications for businesses and mobile advertisers,” Google said in its Mobile Ads Blog. “Make sure you can be found via a mobile search as consumers regularly use their phones to find and act on information.

“Incorporate location-based products and services and make it easy for mobile customers to reach you because local information seeking is common among smartphone users.

“Develop a comprehensive cross-channel strategy as mobile shoppers use their phones in-store, online and via mobile websites and apps to research and make purchase decisions.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years