Mobile Search Gaining Ground with Users, Marketers

Linc Wonham
by Linc Wonham 21 Mar, 2011

Analysts at digital marketing agency Performics are expecting a little March Madness of their own. If estimates are correct, mobile paid search will hit the double-digit tipping point this month, meaning that it will represent at least 10 percent of paid search impressions for all Performics clients.

"Mobile paid search has surged as a percentage of overall paid search spending for our clients, particularly over the last 15 months," said CEO Daina Middleton.

Driven by the steady upswing in paid search spending, Performics conducted the 2011 Mobile Search Insights Study with ROI Research to examine the search habits of mobile users more closely. The report focuses on people who use the mobile Web at least weekly and found that more than half (57 percent) use the it more than once per day, and that more than three quarters (77 percent) use mobile search more than five times per month.

Other findings about users' mobile search habits included the following:

-    84 percent look for local retailer information
-    82 percent find online retailers
-    75 percent said mobile search makes their lives easier 
-    73 percent find a specific manufacturer or product Website
-    71 percent learn about a product or service after seeing an ad
-    68 percent find the best price for a product or service
-    63 percent said access to mobile search has changed the way they gather information
-    63 percent search before purchasing offline in a store or from a catalog
-    32 percent said they use mobile search more than search engines on their computers

Use of mobile search at home topped the list with 81 percent reporting evening use, 80 percent reporting weekend use and 59 percent reporting use before work. Another 61 percent reported using mobile search at work. Respondents also revealed dual screen multi-tasking, reporting at least occasional use of mobile search while watching TV (66 percent) or using the computer (45 percent).

The study examined differences in mobile search adoption and use across gender and age groups, and the differences across 12 top product categories including apparel, appliances, automotive, CPG, electronics, financial services, travel and more.