Search Engines Influential to Mobile Shoppers

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 28 Mar, 2014

Mobile consumers are flocking to the search engines when it comes to conducting product research.

In fact, a recent mobile shopper study that was commissioned by Local Corporation and conducted by the e-tailing group reveals that 73 percent of consumers use search engines to conduct research on their mobile device. Aside from search engines, 33 percent of consumers go directly to a specific website and 24 percent use apps to conduct research.

Search engines also tends to be very influential, as the study found that 50 percent of consumers are influenced by search result listings when they are making purchasing decisions on a mobile device, followed by 42 percent being influenced by peer ratings and reviews and 31 percent being influenced by search results that show local availability.

"Mobile devices and specifically smartphones continue to play a growing role in driving shoppers through the last mile of the path-to-purchase," said Michael Sawtell, president and COO, Local Corporation. "Our research reflects that there are many important factors that influence purchase decisions for mobile shoppers, with ratings and reviews remaining a top influencer and rich localized product results gaining influence."

Additional insights from the study show that email is more likely to influence women to make a purchase than men. Fifty-one percent of men, however, are influenced by search result listings, while the same is true for just 48 percent of women. It is also important to note that the study found the most searched category on mobile devices when customers are researching a purchase at a local store is clothing and accessories (50 percent), followed by consumer electronics (45 percent) and movies/music/videos (44 percent).

"Today's shoppers are not only researching purchase decisions via mobile more often, they are also actually using their smartphones as wallets, with 27 percent of consumers revealing that they have used their smartphone to pay for an in-store purchase," added Sawtell. "The key takeaway for retailers and brands is that they need to incorporate cross-channel engagement strategies to reach these connected consumers at the right time with the right message to drive them in-store."