When consumers search for things on their mobiles more than half usually intend to buy it, according to new research from Google and Nielsen.
The Mobile Search Moments report looks at why and when people use smartphones to search, the actions that result from these searches and how marketers can capitalise on every moment of the process.
Participants in the study were asked to log their mobile searches over a two week period in Q4 2012, which resulted in more than 6,000 mobile searches being recorded, and then follow-ups were conducted by Nielsen to see what actions resulted from these searches.
There are many interesting findings from the report but perhaps the biggest takeaway is that more than half of the searches that resulted in a conversion - whether this was going into a store, calling a business or making a purchase - happened in just 1 hour, showing that mobile is possibly the most critical channel for search marketers and business owners.
The power of mobile search
Of the searches conducted by participants, three out of four triggered actions, which ranged from additional research (36%) to a website visit (25%) to a store visit (17%) to a purchase (17%) to a phone call (7%).
And, on average each mobile search triggered at least two of the above actions, although product and shopping searches were more likely to have higher numbers of outcomes.
Conversions also happened quickly after a search, with 55% occurring within just one hour of the original search.
Ben Chung, Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads at Google, suggests that the reason for this speed could be due to the fact that 45% of mobile searches are conducted to help make a decision, this figure jumping to 66% when the search is conducted in-store.
We see this immediacy effect with mobile because not only are people potentially closer in physical proximity to a purchase, but they’re also close to the crucial decision moments.
And when people use mobile search to help make a decision, they’re more likely to convert. So it’s important for marketers to be present during these searches, while also creating ads and experiences that are relevant to this immediacy.
Quick and easy
Many people would assume that mobile searches are done on the go, like on a bus or train when a desktop is not readily available, but it seems the exact opposite is true.
Almost 8 out of 10 mobile searches happen at work or home when a desktop could be easily accessed.
And according to the report, the reason for this is that consumers find mobile search quick and easy. In fact, 81% said that they were driven to mobile search because of the speed and convenience of it.
Remember, context is key
Another important takeaway from the research is that the types of searches people conduct is strongly tied to their specific context, such as the time of day they are searching and their current location.
Shopping searches, for example, were twice as likely to be conducted in-store and the report highlights that this is a key opportunity for marketers to reach someone who is already ready and prepped to take action.