Mobile web development should never be done in a vacuum. Understanding how mobile searches impact the purchase cycle is fundamental to developing effective mobile apps, mobile sites, mobile maps and mobile PPC ads. Recently, a study conducted in the United Kingdom probed the U.K. mobile searcher’s purchase cycle. The study shows that U.K. consumers are using their mobile devices to research their purchases, to compare prices, inventory and store proximity, indicating a strong purchase intent, but less overall immediacy than U.S. searchers. 40 percent of U.K. mobile searchers report intending to make a purchase within the day and an additional 35 percent take up to a month before making a purchase decision. Smartphone users demonstrate more immediate needs than tablets searchers with 22 percent looking to make a purchase within an hour of their search. With close to 6 in 10 smartphone searches conducted outside the home, two-thirds of phone searchers expressed interest in making a purchase within 24 hours. 56 percent of these searches actually lead to a purchase; not surprisingly, restaurant searches are most likely to do so.
“As U.K. marketers outspend their global peers trying to reach mobile consumers, it is crucial to understand the U.K. mobile searcher,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics, the group who fielded the research. “While two-thirds of mobile searchers don’t have a specific brand in mind, they do cite the importance of local relevancy. Advertisers that include local cues such as location info and phone numbers in their ads can positively influence mobile purchase decisions.”
There were some striking differences between the U.K. study and a U.S. study fielded earlier by the same market research firm. Consumer reviews are rated higher with U.K. mobile searchers than U.S. searchers. U.S. mobile consumers are more responsive to online couponing and deals that their U.K. counterparts. More U.K. mobile searchers seek store locations that are within walking distance.
As the mobile device becomes a bigger and bigger shopping tool, brands will need to make online shopping faster and easier. Mobile web development teams, informed by this sort of real-world research can better surround these consumers with integrated messaging at each and every touchpoint.