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Mobile Is Dominating The Consumer Purchase Decision Process, According To New Study

According to the 3rd Annual U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study findings released today by xAd, mobile is now dominating the consumer purchase decision process. But what’s surprising is that nearly two-thirds of mobile-driven purchases happen offline.

The study shows that mobile has now eclipsed desktop as a research tool. Consumers are spending more time on their mobile devices than ever, account for up to 64% of total time spent online. Of those mobile users, 42% consider mobile the most important resource in their purchase process.

Offline activity still plays a big role in consumers’ purchase process as more than 52% reported visiting a physical store, with 64% of those completing their purchase offline.

Monica Ho, SVP of marketing at xAd, provided this comment about the study:

As mobile adoption increases, we see consumers turning to mobile as a necessary part of their purchase decisions. The impact of this increased mobile usage is significant and it isn’t limited to on-device activity. With mobile consumers looking to make decisions quickly and locally, mobile is also serving as a tool to drive in-store activity.

Mobile Conversion Rates Soaring

Overall, the study shows that mobile users convert in high numbers. Two out of three mobile users ultimately end up making a purchase.

Among those looking to make Restaurant transactions, the conversion rate is even higher at 80%.

Half of smartphone mobile shoppers are engaging with their device at home, up 66% since 2013,

“The truly pervasive nature of mobile is reinforcing the opportunity for advertisers to pursue mobile’s ready to buy audience and clearer performance metrics,” says Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “Capturing consumer engagement points throughout the mobile path to purchase is essential to optimizing mobile ad programs to reach consumers when they are most open to options for fulfilling their purchase needs.”

Mobile Conversion Happens Quickly

Most mobile activity is happening at the beginning of the purchase cycle when users are more open to influence.

Only 20% of mobile users said they knew exactly what they were looking for, down from 34% in 2013.

However, mobile consumers find what they need and make decisions quickly – 65% complete their purchase within the day.

For Restaurant and Entertainment transactions, the initial research-to-purchase cycle is even faster with 64% and 51%, respectively, looking to complete their purchase within the hour.

Proximity Matters For Mobile Shoppers

Over 52% of mobile consumers want a location within 5 miles and more than 10% of Auto and Telecom shoppers expect locations within walking distance.

Location lookups and price are still the heaviest purchase-related activities. Consumers also cited reviews and clear contact info/phone numbers as the most important mobile features.

When it comes to contacting a business, up to 53% of mobile shoppers make a call. As another sign of the importance of location, local phone numbers are preferred 3 to 1 compared to toll free numbers.

How The Study Was Conducted

Results of the 2014 study were compiled by Nielsen from an online survey and on-device behavioral data from 6,000 U.S. smartphone and tablet users focused on the Automotive, Entertainment, Restaurant and Telecom categories.

More details are available at

Category Careers
SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Mobile Is Dominating The Consumer Purchase Decision Process, According To New Study

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