Research from Nielsen Shows Local Relevance a Key Influence in Mobile Purchase Behavior; Purchase Timing Varies Across Travel, Restaurant and Auto Verticals
/NEW YORK and TORONTO, August 14, 2012/ xAd, a leading mobile-local advertising network, and Telmetrics, the top mobile call measurement provider, today announced the initial results of a new Mobile Path-to-Purchase research study conducted by Nielsen. The results confirm that local relevance and decision timing are key influences in mobile purchase behavior; however, consumers utilize mobile devices differently depending on their specific product- or service-related needs and the various vertical markets they are searching within.
The study is the first to not only measure what consumers report they are doing via mobile devices, but also capture their actual preferences and behaviors, and will include three additional releases of specific market findings for the Travel, Restaurant and Auto categories. The results are based on data from an online survey of 1,500 U.S. smartphone and tablet users and actual observed consumer behaviors from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users.
“The xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase study illustrates that successful mobile advertising campaigns can no longer take a ‘one size fits all’ approach,” said Monica Ho, vice president of marketing, xAd Inc. “Advertisers must understand consumer motivations and intent related to each specific vertical market they are searching within before deciding how and where to best engage them in mobile.”
Mobile Purchase Intent Strong; Purchase Timing Unique to Each Vertical Market
While the study shows that overall purchase intent is strong, how much time passes before consumers take action is unique based on the particular vertical market they are searching. Mobile Restaurant searchers showed immediate transaction intent as 87 percent said they were looking to make a purchase decision within the day. In Travel, where 33 percent of mobile searchers are looking to complete their transaction within the day, most mobile web or app search activities are research based and don’t always result in immediate buying decisions. Results for the Auto category were a mix of both quick conversions and researcher based activity, as 49 percent of searchers intend to complete the transaction the same day. Regardless of timing, however, mobile activity still has a significant effect on consumers’ path to purchase as 85 percent of mobile Restaurant searchers, 51 percent of mobile Auto searchers and 46 percent of mobile Travel searchers ultimately make a purchase.
Local Relevance and Local Offers Key to Conversion
While consumers get a lot of business information on the go, according to the survey they show a strong preference for information related to local contact and purchases—such as looking up a business location, accessing map and driving directions and calling the business. Depending on the category and device used, as many as 73 percent of the mobile users surveyed report looking for a business phone number and subsequently contacting the business. In addition, up to 84 percent of mobile searchers report looking up a business location and/or accessing map and driving directions.
“Calls are a key activity along the mobile path to purchase and the study confirms that mobile marketers should ensure their campaigns include phone numbers as most consumers want to connect with the business before making a final purchase decision,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “If an ad or listing doesn’t have local relevance at the time of action, the consumer will move on to the next business so including local phone numbers rather than toll-free numbers is helpful.”
All reported mobile search activities show the growing usage of the mobile device as the “go-to” utility to find, contact and visit local businesses. In fact, mobile users cited local relevance and local offers and promotions as the top reasons for engaging with mobile advertising—an important finding considering that 66 percent of mobile searchers noticed mobile ads and 33 percent clicked on an ad.
Additional highlights from the study include:
Smartphone vs. Tablet Usage
- Across all vertical categories, tablet owners mostly use their device while they are in their home (72 percent), while smartphone users mostly use their device “on the go” (68 percent).
- Among smartphone owners, local directory apps are most popular for Restaurant and Automotive users (53 percent and 34 percent, respectively) while brand websites are most popular for Travel users (47 percent)
- For tablet users, brand websites are the most popular among all categories (with 51 percent Restaurant, 56 percent Travel, and 48 percent Automotive)
- Users go to apps or mobile websites they are familiar with:
- Smartphone owners in all categories go directly to the app or website (45 percent) rather than being directed by a browser
- Tablet users looking for Restaurant information go directly to the website or app (42 percent), most Travel searchers learned of the site through previous experience (49 percent) and Automotive searchers are already familiar with the brand (44 percent)
About the Study
In early June 2012, Nielsen conducted an online survey of more than 1,500 smartphone and tablet users who reported that they had engaged in a restaurant-, travel- or automotive-related mobile activity in the past 30 days. This information was then combined with data from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 3,000 iPhone and 3,000 Android users to help develop and identify the mobile consumer journey and highlight the core points of engagement on mobile from the first research engagement on mobile to post-purchase behavior.
The three categories were chosen as they rank among the top vertical markets projected to show major mobile growth over the next 3 to 5 years.
More details are available at mobilepathtopurchase.com
Since 2009, xAd has grown to become one of the largest mobile-local advertising networks in the U.S. and the only one offering the ability to target ads using a combination of location signal and search context, leading to performance that is 3 to 5 times above the industry average. Across its network, xAd aggregates and manages over one billion location-specific ad requests per month, millions of business listings, and over one million national and local advertisers. xAd is based in New York City with several satellite offices across the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit xAd.com.
About Telmetrics, Inc.
For more than 20 years, Telmetrics has been the call measurement industry leader. Telmetrics’ call tracking solutions, which are available in North America and across Europe, enable marketers to evaluate consumer phone response to ads by providing valuable ad feedback and consumer call intelligence. With greater visibility into advertising performance across all media channels—digital, mobile, print and more—media publishers, agencies and advertisers can optimize the media mix for higher quality lead generation, resulting in increased revenues and a more complete picture of ROI across converging media. For more information, visit Telmetrics.com.
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Young & Associates