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46pc of British consumers use mobile to inform purchase decisions: report

Consumers in Britain are increasingly interested in incorporating mobile into their daily shopping routines for holistic understanding and gratification at the point-of-purchase, according to a new study from xAd.

As the mobile user experience continues to improve, consumers are turning to the convenience of their mobile devices more frequently, whether they are at home or on the go, as xAd finds one in four consumers use mobile as their exclusive shopping research tool, which highlights mobile’s use case and push for ubiquity in all segments of shopping.

“The main differences we’re seeing from last year really come down to the level of engagement,” said Sarah Ohle, director of marketing intelligence at xAd, New York.

“In general, consumers are relying on their devices more and more as purchase tools. With retail purchases for example, nearly half of consumers making purchase decisions are using only their mobile devices.”

In and out-of-home use
The 2014 path-to-purchase study was compiled by Nielsen from more than 2,000 smartphone and tablet users in Britain focused on the Retail, Insurance and Telecom categories, and found that these consumers are spending more time on mobile devices than ever, both in the home and out.

“One of the main things we were surprised to see in this year’s study was a significant increase in mobile usage while at home,” Ms. Ohle said.

“Smartphones have traditionally been considered an on-the-go device when compared to tablets and especially to PCs. While this is directionally still true, 61 percent of smartphone users said the last time they used their device they were actually at their house.”

This means that consumers are now turning to their mobile devices for research and purchase decisions even when a PC is nearby. No matter where consumers are, their smartphones are at hand and this is showing in at-home behavior more than ever before.

Content with context
Adoption of smartphones and tablets is on the rise and consumers are more satisfied with the amount of information available to them on mobile presently than they were in previous years, with an increase of 18 percent since 2013.

This leads to an increased engagement and reliance on these devices as necessary shopping tools, with more than 75 percent of mobile shoppers making a purchase or planning to do so in the near future.

This impact goes beyond mobile and even online activity. On-device purchasing is definitely becoming increasingly popular but we also see significant influence offline as well with mobile commerce activity driving users to actual store locations for additional research or to make in-person purchases.

Of those surveyed, 31 percent reported visiting a physical store during their search. In addition to general research, mobile devices are frequently being used to search for store locations and business contact info. Overall, 37 percent made purchases offline, with 20 percent of Telecom and Insurance shoppers completing purchases via phone.

Retail was the most popular category for mobile purchases, with 35 percent of survey respondents making purchases via their mobile devices.

Maximizing and influencing impressions
XAd discovered that most mobile activity, 56 percent, happens at the beginning of the consumer’s purchase process.

When first turning to their mobile devices, less than 20 percent of respondents reported to know exactly what they were looking for, making 80 percent completely open to influence.

Consumers are also expecting purchase gratification more quickly than they have in the past.

Nearly 50 percent reported wanting to make their purchase within a day, up 20 percent since 2013, and 30 percent are looking to make a purchase within the hour, up 52 percent since 2013.

Followed by store proximity and easy access to contact information, price proves to be the biggest purchase driver.

Three out of four consumers are using their mobile devices for price comparison and 39 percent made a purchase because the product or service was the right price. Store proximity and easy access to contact info are also important factors. Over 50 percent of respondents expect to find a location within five miles of their current location, underscoring the importance of accurate location data, while up to 40 percent of shoppers made phone calls to the businesses they searched.

“The biggest implication of mobile’s increased role in the purchase process is that mobile advertising is now an essential part of any media plan,” Ms. Ohle said.

“Consumers are using mobile to aid in decisions for everything from initial research to actual conversion. With this variety of use, marketers have a unique opportunity to reach consumers at multiple touch points to influence their decisions.”

“Consumers are often on-the-go and accustomed to easy access to information. They are hoping to make fast decisions at nearby locations so it’s important to reach these consumers in the moment, with a relevant message or offer, to drive conversion,” she said.

Final Take
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York