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92pc of mobile researchers make relevant purchases within one day: Google

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September 13, 2016

Mobile search is closely correlated with online shopping

Mobile search is closely correlated with online shopping

Pointing to the correlation between conducting research on a mobile device and receiving product inspiration from a brand, a recent study from Google found that 92 percent of consumers who did research on their smartphones also made a purchase within the same day.

A new study from Google and research firm Purchased, titled “Mobile Has Changed How People Get Things Done,” looked at how individuals leverage their smartphones to meet their various needs, such as checking social media, interacting with a business and researching products. The research showed that mobile search was overwhelmingly the top reason for smartphone usage, while visiting a retailer’s application or mobile Web site was a close second, suggesting that marketers must offer up-to-date inventory and information in order to maximize sales.

“In moments of need, people turn to their phones and search,” said Lisa Gevelber, vice president of marketing at Google, Americas. “When a question or need arises, our phones are far and away our most trusted resource, with 96 percent of people using a smartphone to get things done.

“To meet these needs, people are at least twice as likely to use search than other online or offline sources such as store visits or social media. Not only is search the most used resource, it’s the resource 87 percent of people turn to first.”

For the report, Google polled 1,000 U.S. smartphone users over a four-week period in 2016’s first quarter.

Banking on micro-moments
Per the report, consumers engage in a plethora of micro-moments each day, giving brands optimal opportunities to connect with individuals during these windows. Micro-moments can be defined as periods of time when consumers have a specific intention to research something, buy something, do something or go somewhere.

While plenty of surveyed individuals – 94 percent, to be exact – leveraged their mobile devices for mobile search on a weekly basis, large percentages of individuals also used smartphones for researching products or services, visiting retailers’ apps, and finding business information.

Eighty-one percent of consumers used their mobile devices to look up businesses’ store hours and product availability each week, underscoring the need for companies to continuously update their local search pages with accurate information.

A Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores executive at the Mobile Marketing Association’s Mobile Location Leadership Forum affirmed that local discoverability is one of the company’s top uses of mobile, as four in five local mobile searches culminate in a purchase (see story).

Additionally, 37 percent leveraged smartphones to connect with a brand via call or text, an action that will be made easier with the advent of contact buttons and chatbots on social media.

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Updated product inventory is a must-have for any retailer

For example, Lord & Taylor and Anthropologie are two of the retailers seeking to piggyback on the popularity of resolving customer service issues on social media by taking advantage of Instagram’s new contact button, which enables users to visit a brand’s bio and contact a representative directly via email, text or phone call (see story).

Mobile-oriented actions also differ by audience. Women are more likely than men to view images and photos online, while millennials are more likely to interact with someone via messaging or text.

Women are also more likely than men to connect with a business via mobile, indicating that retailers catering to this demographic would be well-suited to implement contact buttons onto their social media pages.

Moreover, this research indicates that retailers should adjust their mobile advertising budgets accordingly.

“As consumers move between devices and channels throughout the day to shop, get things done and watch their favorite videos, it’s more important than ever for marketers to measure the full value of their mobile advertising,” Ms. Gevelber said. “This means understanding how online ads influence offline store visits, offline store sales, and conversions that start on one device and end on another.

“Only Google offers insights into all of these mobile conversion types so advertisers can understand which marketing campaigns deliver the best results.”

Offline and online purchases
According to the report, the actions most likely to precede an offline purchase are visiting a retailer’s Web site or app, using a search engine and visiting a bricks-and-mortar store. A staggering 70 percent of mobile users leveraged their smartphones before purchasing an item in-store.

Additionally, 92 percent of consumers who searched on a mobile device made a relevant purchase within one day, showcasing mobile search’s influence on offline purchase decisions.

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The new Instagram contact button

Meanwhile, 76 percent who used mobile search also visited a related business within one day, with 28 percent of those searches culminating in a purchase.

“Consumer expectations for immediacy and relevance are higher than ever, and successful brands are those that connect with people in the moments that matter most to them — the I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy moments,” Ms. Gevelber said.

“Mobile search, in particular, helps marketers meet the higher expectations that consumers demand. It’s with search that marketers can be there right when a consumer is looking for something to buy, somewhere to go or information to help them make a decision.”

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Alex Samuely is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York. Reach her at alex@mobilemarketer.com.

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