Mobile Shopping

Making the Most of Mobile Search

Across APAC, consumers use connected devices to perform countless mobile searches daily. Knowing which device consumer searches favor can mean the difference between closing or losing the sale. So it’s paramount that brands analyze collected data and understand the environment and device these searches come from. Over 7 million Australians own tablets. But the most frequently used device for seeking information on-the-go still remains the smartphone. It’s no secret Australians turn to their mobile devices for research, but what else makes mobile a powerful outlet for brands to meet with consumers? How should your brand approach consumers’ mobile search habits as an opportunity for connecting?


Mobile searches are savings-driven

Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing areas in the world for search advertising. Until recently, marketers appeared confused at how to approach these searches, and mobile search ad spend simply couldn’t keep up. A recent Hitwise study found smartphones to be the most commonly used shopping tool, even within feet of the register, to help make decisions. The study revealed customers making countless decisions from the checkout line, and mobile either seals the sale or jeopardizes their store loyalty. We previously compiled data showing the majority of consumers’ mobile searches (77%) were deal-seeking (coupons), with sales (73%) and discounts (68%) following close behind. Proof that many mobile searches indicate a future purchase, the research is conclusive. Marketing to users seeking the best deal is one of the most influential ways to reach the majority. Cost-per-click for mobile in Australia is more economical too. Your customers want the best deal at a time most convenient of their purchase. Even the expiration of a mobile coupon or layaway option can mean the difference between sticking with a retail store versus venturing to an online competitor. Customers want the best deal at the best time, and 77% want it to come with a return policy.

Today’s consumer is information-hungry and well-educated on products they take interest in, and brands that are prompt to deliver this information have the advantage of making the sale. Consumers shop retail and online stores simultaneously, and while they still use desktops to hunt for promo codes, deal-seeking is a mobile-first trend. Different types of searches come from a multitude of places, and with different intentions behind each of them. Marketers who understand customer profiles and develop an engaging strategy for will reach and convert ‘savers’ more often. These brands should be present, informative, friendly, and helpful to drive interaction, loyalty, and revenue.


Searches often lean on location

Location-based searches also heavily rely on mobile for the majority of web traffic. This increasingly popular trend means location-based advertising is on the rise too. Words like ‘near me,’ ‘hours’ and ‘where to buy’ take precedent on mobile devices, proving a heavy importance to location-based searches and the ad tech that follows it. Hitwise found that 82% of mobile shoppers want to know what’s open in their area, having even searched the term “24-hour”. Food and beverage searches have increased in popularity, suggesting that when consumers are hungry, they turn to their devices.

So much so, that it’s the device of choice for Aussies seeking where to buy a specific product. These consumers already know what they want, and they want brands to clearly tell them when and where they can buy it, while simultaneously providing deep information on these products to allow for clear and conscious decision making. In addition, brands that offer comparison services not only provide transparency (building loyalty), but also leave potential as the resource to return to for product research later. Location-based advertising paired with mobile search are pivotal touch points, and should be awarded special attention in your mobile strategy in the coming months.


Mobile is the go-to device for gift shopping

Retail may seventh in mobile search popularity, (falling behind health, sports, news, and media categories), but various studies have found mobile to be the device of choice when searching for gifts. Its discretion makes it easy to keep gifts like engagement rings and Christmas presents a secret from significant others and children in the household. Observe which products rank higher up the mobile search list and note what types of products are lacking in searchable information. Small purchases still win over mobile, while large purchases happen between a combination interactions with desktop and retail stores. A heavier reliance on brand terms and a broader range of keywords make it trickier for marketers to cater to potential customers performing mobile searches. Increasing overall keyword coverage may not have the same effect as honing in on several terms and catering to them heavily. For instance, jewelry stores would do better to invest in location-based mobile advertising to attract more customers who may be popping the question sometime soon.

Brands that are still skipping out on location-based advertising and mobile display ads are avoiding a massive opportunity for revenue from a rapidly growing, mobile-dominated area. This trend in multiple categories is even becoming lucrative for social networks. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced blueprints in their 2016 Q2 results that they would be tapping into search advertising. Search and social platforms are already automating the management of an expansive list of search keywords. Although each brand should rely on their contextual data of which consumers to reach and when, for these platforms, it’s the integration of search and display that proves lucrative moving into 2017. Incorporating contextual data in your mobile search campaigns will empower your mobile strategy and set the brand up for continual success. For further reference, Which-50 provided a simple breakdown of this upcoming necessity of integrating search and display for a stronger ROI.

“For instance if somebody searches for “travel to New York” in a search engine. This is a strong signal that that person is in the market to travel to New York. This data signal needs to available in all other programmatic media, especially in display creative. For instance if we know that this user is in market to travel to New York then it’s probably a waste to show them an ad for London.”

– Timothy Whitfield

A recent mobile search advertising projection claimed it would account for 50% of all search advertising spend by this year, and so far, these estimations are correct. It’s time to look to unfamiliar trends like this one, compile strong data as evidence of what your customers are searching for on mobile, and serve up information and experiences that satisfy and engage.

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