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25pc of mobile users shop online only via a smartphone or tablet: study

With many mobile device owners using only using their smartphone or tablet to check email or conduct a search, this presents a challenge for retailers trying to grab users’ attention in mobile, according to a new survey conducted by Prosper Mobile Insights.

The survey found that some consumers are becoming totally dependent on mobile for certain activities, such as checking personal email and conducting searches. This intent focus on mobile reflects the need for retailers to find the right kind of advertising to grab the attention of these consumers.

“The takeaway for retailers is that their marketing strategies will have to be very nimble in order to keep up with the changing usage patterns and needs of mobile owners,” said Pamela J. Goodfellow, consumer insights director at Biginsight, Worthington, OH.

“Video advertising via mobile distinguishes itself from the deluge of other banner ads, popups, and mundane emails that mobile users may encounter; it seems that successful videos are ones that are attention grabbing, succinct, relevant to the user, and perhaps most importantly, not perceived as an annoyance,” she said.

BIGinsight and Prosper Mobile Insights are both owned by Prosper Business Development.

Online activity goes mobile
According to the survey, 51.1 percent of mobile users check their email using only a mobile device, 45.3 percent say they conduct mobile-only Internet searches and 42.3 percent connect with friends on Facebook without ever using a PC or laptop.

Additionally, 25.4 percent of consumers engage in online shopping only via mobile, 29.6 percent are mobile-only online bankers, 14.8 percent use Twitter only in mobile and 6.9 percent engage with Pinterest only in mobile.

Overall, 69.3 percent of mobile users conduct at least one Web-based activity solely with a smartphone or tablet:

“The majority, or near majority, of mobile users are relying on their devices exclusively for what we would consider to be several ‘basic’ online functions: email, online searching, and social media – via Facebook,” Ms. Goodfellow said. “And, as mobile users become more reliant and comfortable with using their devices, we would expect them to increasingly gravitate toward mobile-only usage of smartphones and tablets for a broader range of common functions, like online shopping and banking.”

Relevancy counts
With consumers opting for mobile devices instead of computers for many online activities, retailers need to know which types of ads their customers are most receptive to.

For example, the report found that 42.9 percent of mobile users are more likely to focus on ads in a video format, with 51.3 percent saying such ads are more likely to grab their attention. Another 34.5 percent said video ads are more enjoyable, 30.4 percent said they are not able to click away without watching a part of the ad and 25.2 percent said the content is more relevant.

Additionally, 23.1 percent said video ads are similar to enjoyable ads on TV and 21.9 percent said they have to watch to find out what is advertised.

According to the survey, 11.2 percent of mobile users regularly pay attention to sponsored stories or links, 10 percent pay attention to ads that play before or during a video and 8.8 percent to video ads in general.

Banner ads gain regular attention only from 8.2 percent of mobile users while pop-up ads are noticed by 4.5 percent.

The results also show the importance of delivering ads that are relevant, with 33.5 percent saying that they are more likely to pay attention to an ad if it is relevant, while 31.4 percent would pay more attention if there were fewer ads overall. Additionally, 28.4 percent are attracted to funny advertisements, 24.2 percent seek informative ads and 23.9 percent are more likely to focus on eye-catching animations.

“Consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on their mobile devices for home, for work, and for life,” Ms. Goodfellow said. “This is a game changer – and a challenge – for retailers.

“Relying on traditional media, including TV, print, and even online, is becoming more outdated as months pass, literally,” she said.

“Marketing strategies which evolve to encompass mobile media may help ensure that retailers are reaching their customers via the most effective, efficient, and economical means possible.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York