About Consumers

The rapid growth in the usage of smartphones devices in most parts of the world is having an impact on consumers and businesses too. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly influencing how the consumers are shopping, making buying decisions and engaging with brands. The decision to purchase is now influenced by content that users generate and others read, for example reviews, and social media peer opinions.

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According to eMarketer, up to one third of consumers in North America and Western Europe use their mobile devices to access social media at least once in a month in. Today more than 50% of all the people on Twitter and Facebook are accessing these social platforms using their mobile devices.

The rise of the mobile consumers (90% of the world population has access to a mobile network) is increasingly blurring the sheer differences between online and offline trade. Many marketers and brands are already experiencing this shift as consumers choose to assess a brand and their products through their mobile devices before making a purchase. This shift has several implications for search, as the mobile consumers are essentially so much closer to the point of sale than they are when conducting searches on their desktops. A large majority of consumers are also looking for local businesses while they are on the move, thanks to location-based online tools.

As a result of the proliferation and the increasing use of mobile devices, brands must look for ways to optimize their marketing strategies for the mobile consumer. Marketers must understand the search implications that mobile phone usage may have on sales and ROI in the long term. There are major differences between mobile search and desktop search. For example, the smaller interface on mobile devices means that users will not see both paid ads and organic search results.

Studies indicate that mobile users are keener on search results when searching using their phones than they are when searching from their desktop. In fact, the click through rates for mobile ads is higher than for paid or organic searches on desktop.

A recent, independent study by Marin Software shows that mobile users are more likely to click on a paid advertisement than they are when using a computer. In the last year alone, the click through rates for Smartphone was 1.25%, that of tablets stood at 1.31%, while desktop click through rates for PPC was only 0.95%. It is important for marketers to track and measure click through rates as they are a strong indicator of the searcher’s behavior.

Mobile users are more likely to use their phones while lying in bed or waiting for something according to InMobi.

Mobile Marketing influences the customers’ behavior through the purchase path. 26% of those interviewed said that it helped them to find something nearby and for 11% of them, it influenced their in-store purchase (source: InMobi).

During TV commercials, mobile users keep themselves occupied with their phones: they check and reply to emails, participate in contests via SMS, visit a site mentioned on TV or even exchange ideas about a show through the chat feature. Mobile Internet users spend on average 10 hours a week in the UK, US and France as per a report from Microsoft.

Many studies show that by 2015 more people will access Internet using their mobile devices than they will through the PC. Smartphones sales are also on the rise when compared to the sale of computers including laptops and tablets. According to the research group Canalys, up to 500 million smartphones were sold worldwide in 2010 alone; this is in contrast to just 400 million computers.

However, the mobile consumer is typically very specific about the types of activities he conducts with his mobile device. According to a report from eMarketer:

a) up to 67% of online mobile users are searching for local businesses and whether the store offers the product they are looking for

b) up to 66% of mobile consumers search for local offers

c) up to 43% use their mobile devices to look for directions within a store

d) another 43% is looking for reviews and peer opinions about brands before making a purchasing decision.

As per ABI Research there are gender variations toward smartphone and tablet content in the US.

The mobile consumer is largely using mobile browsers to shop, search and to get access to music and videos. There is also a rising interest in mobile applications that make all these activities easier for the consumer. It is advisable for brands to consider how they can develop valuable apps that will enhance consumer interaction and engagement with the brand.

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