Google Looks at Purchasing Habits of Smartphone Users


Google released some interesting stats this week about the purchasing habits of smartphone users, or more specifically, smartphone searchers. This is in the US only, but the study looks at how smartphones are used on a daily basis, how people are multitasking, the typical searches made from smartphones, how users are using devices to help make their purchase decisions, and whether or not they’re receptive to mobile ads.

This is all good stuff to keep in mind for any business, as the world grows more mobile, and more connected.

“Nearly 9 out [of] 10 smartphone owners use their devices throughout the day for a variety of activities ranging from using search engines to find information, to watching videos,” says Selina Rennie of Google’s Agency Team. “They have become so entrenched in our lives that 43% of smartphone owners say that they would prefer to give up beer instead of internet access on their smartphone.”

“Unsurprisingly, using the smartphone is an incredibly popular time-killer with nearly 60% claiming to use their smartphones while waiting, for example, in a queue at a supermarket or for a bus,” adds Rennie. “Smartphone users are also becoming increasingly reliant on their devices for shopping assistance with 70% of smartphone consumers using their devices while shopping in-store.”

Here’s a look at where smartphones are being used:

It’s also worth noting what consumers are doing while they’re using their smartphones, whether that be while consuming other media or doing other things in general:

The study suggests that 82% notice ads on their smartphones, and half of them take action. “However, it is not only mobile ads prompting action,” notes Rennie. “Mobile search is often prompted by cross media exposure. Over two thirds of smartphone owners have carried out a search on their smartphone as a result of traditional media.”

A few other points of note (as determined by the study):

– Search is the most visited site from smartphones at 77% compared to 65% for social networking sites and 46% for retail sites.

– Mobile searchers want their information “quick and convenient”.

– The most common types of info users are looking for using search engines on smartphones are:

1. News (57%)
2. Dining/restaurant information (51%)
3. Navigational (51%)
4. Entertainment (49%)
5. Shopping (47%)

In case you’ve at all doubted the significance of mobile to local business, consider that 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information, according to the study. Out of the local information seekers, 77% have contacted a business by either calling or visiting, and 44% have purchased either online or at a physical store. Nearly all of them take action within a day.

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