Despite statistics to the contrary, many businesses continue to ignore the need for mobile solutions when it comes to their customers.
On this blog alone, I’ve shared why you need a responsive design for your site; how mobile was already starting to be a major player back in 2012; and how design trends are being shaped by the mobile customer.
Across the web, there are countless articles and presentations that share why the imminent future is mobile and how to initiate and track mobile marketing and advertising. So, yeah, mobile is pretty big.
And yet there are still some businesses that seem to be happy to rely on desktop visits and interactions, regardless of the preferences of their customers. While this is entirely their prerogative, it’s also potentially dangerous thinking, as a recent joint study between Google and Nielsen shows.
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1. Mobile and the Research Stage
As Sam Fiorella and I talk about in the Influence Marketing book, understanding where your customer is in the purchase life cycle is key to understanding what message needs to go out to them, and how it should be delivered. Unsurprisingly, with the uptake of mobile browsing, research is a key action for mobile customers.
- Mobile consumers spend more than 15 hours a week researching products, deals, services and more;
- 59% visited a business’s website;
- It takes up to 6 visits to a site for a mobile consumer to make a purchase;
- Mobile web browsing is almost on a par with mobile app usage (7.3 hours per week for the former, 8 hours per week for the latter).
These are just some of the basic statistics around mobile browsing when it comes to the research stage. Taking a look at the figures, more than half the mobile audience visit sites on their phone, and make return visits to confirm/validate product research on your brand elsewhere.
If you’re not making it easy for your customers to carry out these actions, you’re simply turning them away to a competitor who will.
2. Mobile and Search
Tying in naturally with the usage of mobile for Research is the action of Search. Despite the fact that mobile web browsing and app usage accounts for a good percentage of consumer habits around your brand when it comes to research, mobile search still leads the way.
- 74% of consumers used a mobile search engine in the overall shopping process;
- The breakdown of mobile search versus corporate branded properties (site or app) sees mobile search lead with 48%, compared to 33% on business sites and 26% on mobile apps.
This not only helps brands answer the question of whether they should have a mobile optimized site or app, but also how they should be planning out their mobile ad and marketing campaigns when it comes to raising brand awareness at the point of search.
3. Mobile and GeoLocation Benefits
There’s been a bit of a backlash against geolocation marketing in the past 12 months or so. Platforms like Foursquare and Facebook Places have come under fire, with many questioning the benefits of mobile check-ins at physical locations and if they drive any real benefit.
While there might be some merit to this form of geolocation, today’s mobile consumer wants to know that a researched location is local when it comes to actual purchases.
- More than 2/3 of consumers (69%) expect a business to be within 5 miles of their radius when carrying out a search;
- 10% actually expect businesses to be within just one mile;
- Store locator details on websites and searches are key, with 71% using this feature to locate their nearest location.
While both Foursquare and Facebook have mixed reviews when it comes to their geolocation services, the point is people are looking for businesses and services based on location and proximity. Having Foursquare Ads tied into geographical searches is one way for local businesses to benefit.
And with Google’s continued evolution of its search algorithms, its own Google Places for Business solution is expected to play an even bigger part for logged-in Google Apps users when using mobile search.
4.Mobile and the Immediacy of Purchase
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the report, and one that every business should consider, is the way customers are adapting their purchasing decisions based on mobile usage.
Given that research and validation by peer reviews across social networks are now just a finger swipe away, consumers are far more immediate when it comes to purchases instigated by mobile search versus desktop browsing.
- Within an hour of validation (research, search, peer recommendation), 55% of consumers will make (or want to make) a purchase;
- As many as 83% will make (or want to make) a purchase within 24 hours.
So, more than half of your potential target customer want to be at your store within an hour, and another 30% want to shop with you the next day. Do you really want to be the business that’s turning this away?
5. Mobile and the Point of Purchase
If the above statistics aren’t starting to paint a pretty graphic picture of how mobile is driving consumer behaviour, then you might as well ignore the following data, since clearly your business is one that doesn’t see the bigger (and smaller) picture of why mobile is so key to your future strategy.
If, however, you’ve been starting to take notes on how to get the right team to start implementing your mobile strategy, this one’s for you.
- Despite mobile browsing accounting for the majority of research and validation, most purchases are still made in-store, with mobile driving up foot traffic for those businesses with a strong mobile strategy in place;
- 93% of mobile searches and research result in a purchase of a product or service;
- When it comes to purchasing, 82% purchased directly at a physical storefront, 45% waited until they were online via desktop or tablet, and 17% made a purchase there and then on their handset.
Make no mistake – mobile drives business as well as traffic.
What This Means for You
As I mentioned (perhaps rather glibly) at the start of point five, if you’re not considering a mobile strategy now, and these statistics don’t encourage you to consider one, then you may find yourself starting to fall behind next year and beyond.
It’s clear that mobile is fast catching up on “traditional browsing” when it comes to the key points of purchase decision-making: Awareness, Research, Validation, Intent, Purchase.
With consumers increasingly spending more time on mobile, as well as making purchases almost instantaneously upon validation, it’s not so much a question of whether businesses should consider whether to have a mobile strategy.
Rather, it should be how much of a mobile strategy is needed. The clock on that question is ticking – and the countdown has already begun.
The Nielsen/Google study was carried out across nine different verticals: Restaurants, Food and Cooking, Finance, Travel, Home and Garden, Apparel and Beauty, Automotive, Electronics, and Health and Nutrition. There were 950 participants, and each user had to be over 18 and have made a purchase within one of the verticals in the previous 30 days.