Mobile Optimization Plays Key Role in 80% of Consumer Purchase Journeys

Con­sumers use mobile devices to find deals, com­pare prices, research prod­ucts, and buy – don’t frus­trate them with non-opti­mized mobile sites.

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 0 comments

As expect­ed, mobile adver­tis­ing and com­merce has expe­ri­enced anoth­er strong year of growth and increased rev­enues. It’s a top­ic that has been well cov­ered in the dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing press; there’s no short­age of arti­cles cov­er­ing the steady rise of mobile in adop­tion, usage, and increased rev­enue streams that brands are achiev­ing with the chan­nel. A ques­tion explored less often is where mobile shop­ping ties in with con­sumer pur­chase jour­neys, and what the impli­ca­tions of under­stand­ing this con­sumer behav­ior is for mar­keters.

While stud­ies often offer extreme­ly healthy sta­tis­tics, it has been tra­di­tion­al­ly dif­fi­cult for brands to attribute mobile inter­ac­tions. For this rea­son stud­ies reveal­ing exact­ly how and when con­sumers are using their mobiles in their pur­chase jour­neys has been explored less often. Such data is nonethe­less valu­able as it pro­vides brands with insights on the touch­points they can look to ful­fill via their mobile expe­ri­ence deliv­ery.

A recent study has resolved to address the gap in knowl­edge via the most direct means pos­si­ble: ask­ing the peo­ple who use smart­phones!

Research by the Inter­net Adver­tis­ing Bureau UK (IAB), in col­lab­o­ra­tion with research agency Kan­tar Media, sur­veyed more than 2,000 British smart­phone users between the ages of 16 to 70, ask­ing them ques­tions on how they were using mobile devices in their pur­chase jour­neys, and their chang­ing rela­tion­ships with tra­di­tion­al media. In addi­tion, the study con­sid­ered the poten­tial impli­ca­tions for brands that don’t have a mobile opti­mized site.

Seeking Product Information

Telling­ly, the study revealed that mobile phones were the num­ber one device for smart­phone own­ers (ages 16 to 34) when look­ing for infor­ma­tion about prod­ucts, plac­ing mobile as a key touch­point in the research and eval­u­a­tion stage of the pur­chase fun­nel. Lap­top com­put­ers were the sec­ond most pop­u­lar device for look­ing up prod­uct infor­ma­tion.

Sev­en­ty-three per­cent of mobile users said they would seek an alter­na­tive source of infor­ma­tion after expe­ri­enc­ing an unre­spon­sive, non-opti­mized mobile site, effec­tive­ly pre­ma­ture­ly end­ing con­sumer jour­neys. There­fore, it’s essen­tial that mar­keters pro­vide an opti­mized mobile site expe­ri­ence for prod­uct infor­ma­tion.

It cer­tain­ly rep­re­sents a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem for brands and ecom­merce sites; the sur­vey revealed that 52 per­cent of smart­phone own­ers had vis­it­ed a unre­spon­sive mobile site in the last month, with 69 per­cent of con­sumers call­ing it a “frus­trat­ing” expe­ri­ence.

Mobile Shopping In The Holiday Period

In anoth­er recent study, loca­tion-based mobile plat­form Retale sur­veyed 1,000 men and women in the U.S. between Octo­ber 20 and 27 to get a pic­ture of cur­rent con­sumer shop­ping behav­ior and trends in antic­i­pa­tion of this year’s cru­cial win­ter shop­ping peri­od.

Again, Retale’s find­ings con­firmed the cru­cial impor­tance of mobile in ful­fill­ing a num­ber of touch­points in con­sumer pur­chase jour­neys. A large major­i­ty (73 per­cent) of respon­dents said that they planned to use their smart­phones for hol­i­day shop­ping, with 96–97 per­cent using their devices to find deals, com­pare prices, and research prod­ucts. Oth­er pop­u­lar uses of mobile were access­ing coupons (92 per­cent), find­ing stores (89 per­cent), and trans­act­ing direct­ly via the device (85 per­cent).

12 Essential Mobile Stats and Facts

Accord­ing to IAB:

  1. 81 per­cent of users in the UK use the Inter­net on their mobiles, either via an app or brows­er dai­ly.
  2. A even larg­er pro­por­tion, 90 per­cent, of users aged between 25 and 34 use the Inter­net on their mobiles, either via an app or brows­er dai­ly.
  3. Mobile phones were the num­ber one device when look­ing up prod­uct infor­ma­tion, for smart­phone own­ers aged between 16 and 34.
  4. 52 per­cent of smart­phone own­ers said they had vis­it­ed an unre­spon­sive, non-mobile opti­mized site in the last month, with 69 per­cent of these high­light­ing their expe­ri­ence as “frus­trat­ing.”
  5. 59 per­cent of users said they looked up prod­ucts on their smart­phones or tablets to fol­low up adver­tis­ing on tra­di­tion­al media.
  6. 43 per­cent of mobile users looked up fur­ther infor­ma­tion on either their smart­phones or tablets after being exposed to a brand or prod­uct on TV.
  7. The fig­ure was 28 per­cent for news­pa­pers, 25 per­cent for out­door adver­tise­ments, and 21 per­cent for radio and mag­a­zines com­bined.

Accord­ing to Retale:

  1. 22 per­cent of con­sumers said they would do 100 per­cent of their win­ter shop­ping online.
  2. 24 per­cent said they would do their brick-and-mor­tar retail stores only.
  3. 54 per­cent said they would shop both online and in-store.
  4. 73 per­cent of U.S. con­sumers plan to use their smart­phones for hol­i­day shop­ping.
  5. The most com­mon mobile shop­ping activ­i­ties for users are find­ing deals (97 per­cent); com­par­ing prices (96 per­cent) research­ing prod­ucts (96 per­cent); access­ing coupons (92 per­cent); find­ing stores (89 per­cent); and buy­ing direct­ly from the device (85 per­cent).

Mobile-First’ Site Optimizations Complete Consumer Journeys

The over­rid­ing take­away for mar­keters here is to ensure their sites are opti­mized for the mobile expe­ri­ence, espe­cial­ly when it comes to the pro­vi­sion of prod­uct infor­ma­tion that ful­fills touch­points in the research phase of con­sumer pur­chase cycles. While this may seem a straight­for­ward propo­si­tion, clear­ly many brands are still strug­gling, as more than half of users in the UK report­ed hav­ing a poor mobile expe­ri­ence in the past 4 weeks. Pro­vid­ing excep­tion­al mobile expe­ri­ences is key to tying togeth­er user jour­neys and ensure con­sumers aren’t deterred.

As IAB’s Senior Research Man­ag­er, Han­nah Bew­ley explains:

The fact that 59 per­cent of smart­phone own­ers had been prompt­ed by tra­di­tion­al media in the last four weeks to look for more infor­ma­tion on prod­ucts shows that mobile is the glue that holds oth­er media togeth­er. The study empha­sized the impor­tance of opti­miz­ing sites so that con­sumers are able to browse your site, research your prod­uct and trans­act on the move. With 73 per­cent not look­ing for an alter­na­tive device if they reach a non-opti­mized site, brands with­out a mobile strat­e­gy are risk­ing los­ing cus­tomers.”

You can find out more about IAB’s, and Retales mobiles sur­vey.

Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex's data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

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