xAd, the mobile/local advertising network, and Telmetrics, the mobile call measurement provider, have announced the initial results of their mobile path-to-purchase research study conducted by Nielsen. The results confirm that local relevance and decision timing are key influences in mobile purchase behavior; however, consumers utilize mobile devices differently depending on their specific product- or service-related needs and the various vertical markets they are searching within. Purchase Decisions Not Immediate
However immediate the mobile web feels to the user, they are not booking airline tickets on the spur of the moment. But they will, in time.
The study reveals that while overall purchase intent is strong, how much time passes before consumers take action is unique based on the particular vertical market they are searching.
Mobile Restaurant searchers showed immediate transaction intent as 87% said they were looking to make a purchase decision within the day.
In Travel, where 33% of mobile searchers want to complete a transaction within a day, most mobile web or app search activities are research based and do not always result in immediate buying decisions.
Results for the Auto category were a mix of both quick conversions and researcher-based activity, as 49% of searchers intend to complete the transaction the same day.
Regardless of timing, however, mobile activity still has a significant effect on consumers’ path to purchase as 85% of mobile Restaurant searchers, 51% of mobile Auto searchers and 46% of mobile Travel searchers ultimately make a purchase.
Local Relevance and Local Offers Are Key to Conversion
Consumers get a lot of business information on the go, but show a strong preference for information related to local contact and purchases (e.g., looking up a business location, accessing map and driving directions and calling the business). Depending on the category and device used, up to 73% of mobile users report looking for a business phone number and then contacting the business. Also true, up to 84% of mobile searchers look up a business location and/or access a map and driving directions.
"Calls are a key activity along the mobile path to purchase and the study confirms that mobile marketers should ensure their campaigns include phone numbers as most consumers want to connect with the business before making a final purchase decision," said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. "If an ad or listing doesn’t have local relevance at the time of action, the consumer will move on to the next business so including local phone numbers rather than toll-free numbers is helpful."
All reported mobile search activities show the growing usage of the mobile device as the "go-to" utility to find, contact and visit local businesses. In fact, mobile users cited local relevance and local offers and promotions as the top reasons for engaging with mobile advertising—an important finding considering that 66% of mobile searchers noticed mobile ads and 33% clicked on an ad.
- Across all vertical categories, tablet owners mostly use their device while they are in their home (72%), while smartphone users mostly use their device “on the go” (68%).
- Among smartphone owners, local directory apps are most popular for Restaurant and Automotive users (53% and 34%, respectively) while brand websites are most popular for Travel users (47%)
- For tablet users, brand websites are the most popular among all categories (with 51% Restaurant, 56% Travel, and 48% Automotive)
- Users go to apps or mobile websites they are familiar with. Smartphone owners in all categories go directly to the app or website (45%) rather than being directed by a browser
- Tablet users looking for Restaurant information go directly to the website or app (42%), most Travel searchers learned of the site through previous experience (49%) and Automotive searchers are already familiar with the brand (44%)