Mobile search has become the primary shopping tool for consumers, with almost 90 per cent now turning to their smartphones to find relevant information and complete the buying cycle, according to a new study by search engine giant Google.
Google surveyed 1,000 smartphone users across a seven-day period as a means of analysing their shopping behaviours on mobile. From the 14,000 responses it gathered, it found one major trend — mobile is now capable of addressing almost every action and need before, during and after the process of purchasing a product or service.
Search engines are by far the most utilised resource for users, with 91 per cent saying that they type in keywords on Google to fulfil their shopping requirements. Mobile apps are also hugely popular for informing decisions, as 75 per cent visit a retailer website or app and 71 per cent visit a non-retailer website or app to solve their needs.
However, visiting a store location is one of the top two actions alongside using a search engine that most commonly occurs before a purchase is made. Mobile helps in these instances too, as 56 per cent use an online map to find a nearby location or store. The study shows just how intertwined mobile content consumption is with all aspects of the buying cycle, which highlights its critical importance for brands and businesses.
“While search has long been useful to help with quick tasks like looking up a dinner recipe, it’s also widely used to make progress on long-term projects,” Google said. “In fact, 68 per cent of people used search to help with things they want to address at some point in the future, the highest of any other online or offline source. And those searches for future needs largely happen on mobile, with 97 per cent of people searching on a mobile phone to do so.”
Google found that not only is search the most popular resource when a question or need arises but that 87 per cent also use it first to meet their needs. Other connected services and activities that users value online include browsing photos and images on an app or site, using social media and watching online videos.