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Mobile search correlates to higher purchase conversion rate

NEW YORK – Customers who search for products on mobile are 57 percent more likely to visit a store and 51 percent more likely to make a purchase, suggesting that understanding mobile shopping and search behavior is more important than ever, according to Nielsen numbers cited by an ecommerce executive.

The executive, speaking at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook conference in a talk focusing on concepts and user experience fundamentals called Using Mobile to Influence Buying Behavior, explored the different stages of mobile shopping behavior, suggesting ways in which retailers and marketers can connect with consumers at each step. Taken together, these data points mark a formulaic way to make sense of the often-chaotic shopping habits of consumers.

“You need to break down shopping behavior into phases,” said Mark Tan, senior product manager at Amazon, Seattle. “I sit with marketers, designers, business people, and the intangible aspects of shopping behavior tend to get pushed because they’re not measurable – but those are just as important.”

Mobile intent
Even for retailers who are not focusing on mobile commerce, mobile is still a powerful indicator and tool to leverage during other types of retail analysis.

Since mobile is so prevalent and present in consumers’ lives at every point, every retail aspect can be served to understand how mobile affects shopping behavior.

For example, mobile searches for products are an extremely strong indicator of what a customer’s intention is, referencing Nielsen data.

Mobile, due to its nature as a constant companion, is a great indicator of a customer’s immediate intent to purchase.

“People who are searching on mobile are likely to be trying to complete the action immediately,” Mr. Tan said.

Retailers who want a better understanding of how customers will shop in-store can look to mobile search data to help sort out a clearer picture of what consumers are currently looking for.

Understanding the process
The stages of mobile shopping behavior, according to Mr. Tan, are awareness, consideration, preference, purchase and repurchase.

Within each of these stages is the opportunity for brands to dig into reams of data provided by mobile to perfect each one.

The first stage, awareness, is one of the most important as the moment of introduction to a product can affect perception of it forever.

Consideration is the realm of marketers where the product is sold in the customer’s mind. This is also when customers often compare products and search online and on mobile for different prices.

Preference and purchase is where demographic information becomes important – something that mobile is well suited to help explore.

Finally, Mr. Tan recommends mobile loyalty programs as the most consistent and best way of retaining customers’ loyalty.

Ultimately, each of these steps involves purely analyzing how customers behave and what they want to improve.

“It’s all about taking what you have and figuring out how to simplify it,” Mr. Tan said. “Your task is to make sense of all the data and filter that into experiences.”