Search results play a significant role in influencing mobile shoppers’ purchase decisions, detail Local Corporation and the e-tailing group in a recent study. The online survey found half of the smartphone owners surveyed claiming that search result listings influence their purchase decisions, with ratings and reviews (42%) also a strong factor. A little further back, about 3 in 10 respondents rely on mobile search results with local availability and opt-in emails from retailers to aid their decision-making. The report notes that women tend to be slightly more influenced by emails than men (33% vs. 27%).
Of note: while survey respondents believe that search impacts their decision process, a recent analysis by SeeWhy discovered that the majority of smartphone conversions counted email as the traffic source, with search only a bit player.
Meanwhile, few respondents to the Local Corporation survey feel that mobile applications (9%) influence their purchase decisions. That may be related to respondents only using apps sparingly for research. Indeed, when asked how they search when using a mobile device for product research, only 24% reported using apps. (The leading choice was – unsurprisingly – a search engine, for 73% of respondents).
Separately, the study finds that 27% of respondents have used smartphones to pay for an in-store purchase. That’s a higher figure than seen in a recent Federal Reserve survey, in which 17% of smartphone users claimed to have made a point-of-sale payment at least once during the previous 12 months. The disparity could be due to an over-representation of iPhone users in the Local Corporation study. In that survey, 54% of respondents were iPhone users, whereas the latest comScore figures indicate that Apple owns about 42% market share among smartphone owners in the US.
- The Local Corporation survey indicates that the most popular search categories via mobile when researching a purchase at a local store are: clothing and accessories (50%); consumer electronics (45%); movies/music/video (44%); and food (43%). Those tend to be among the most commonly purchased items on mobiles, too.
- Security (44%) and privacy (36%) concerns are said to be 2 of the 3 top concerns given by mobile shoppers for not paying in-store with a smartphone.
About the Data: The online survey of 1,294 consumers was completed in March 2014. All respondents were pre-qualified for smartphone ownership and the sample was made up of 46 percent women and 54 percent men.