Google recently commissioned a survey (in partnership with market research firm Ipsos OTX) to gain insight into the usage and behavior of U.S. consumers with regard to their smartphones. According to Google, the goal of the research was to understand how smartphones are used in consumer’s daily lives and specifically how it has influenced how consumers search, shop and respond to mobile advertising.
The study confirms what most of us already know. The report finds that in terms of general usage, 93% of smartphone users use their phones at home; 81% browse the Internet and 77% search on their phones, 72% of smartphone users use their phones while consuming other media. One-third of smartphone owners use their phones while watching TV. And 45% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help them to manage and plan activities, such as for dinner plans, travel arrangements and finances. Google says that 39% admit to having used their smarpthone while going to the bathroom and one in five users would give up their Cable TV in order to keep using their smartphones.
Of course, search giant Google examined how smartphone users interact with search. Search is the number one website type visited among smartphone users (77%), and search is used to help consumers access a wide variety of information, including: News (57%), Dining (51%), Entertainment (49%) , Shopping (47%), Technology (32%), Travel (31%), Finance (26%) and Automotive (17%).
Nine out of ten smartphone searchers have take action as a result of a mobile search, with over half leading to a purchase (53%). Search also influences other types of actions; for example, 24% have recommended a brand or product to others as result of a smartphone search. And 53% continue to research online by looking for more information on their computers.
Local is, unsurprisingly, a huge component in activity on smartphones. For example, 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information. 61% call a business, 59% visit a business and 44% actually make a purchase. And users who are seeking local information are quick to take action—88% of local information seekers take action within a day.
In terms of mobile commerce and purchases, it’s no secret that smartphones have become a shopping and purchasing tool. The survey reports that 79% of respondents use their smartphones to help with shopping and 70% use their smartphones while in a store. Of those who do user their smartphone for shopping purchases, 74% of smartphone shoppers wind up making a purchase. Smartphones are influencing purchases across all channels, with 76% purchasing in store, 59% purchasing online via a computer and 35% purchasing on their phones.
Interestingly, 27% of smartphone purchases were made through a mobile website and 22% were made through apps. Smartphone shoppers spent a median of $300 on purchases made on their smartphones in the past year. Entertainment, electronics and apparel items lead as the most popular purchased items.
Users actually pay attention to and engage with mobile advertising, the report finds. Google reports that 71% of users search on their smartphones because of an ad they saw, whether from traditional media, online ads or mobile ads and 82% of users notice mobile ads. And 42% of those who notice mobile ads click on the ad, 27% contact the business, 35% visit the website and 49% purchase. While this is only a survey, those finds are impressive.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...