Google Reports Widespread Smartphone Use

You probably already know that people are using their smartphones quite frequently and for a growing number of activities.  Some figures have put the ownership of smartphones at 50% for people betwee...
Google Reports Widespread Smartphone Use
Written by Josh Wolford
  • You probably already know that people are using their smartphones quite frequently and for a growing number of activities.  Some figures have put the ownership of smartphones at 50% for people between the ages of 18-34. It is a bit surprising to see, however, the massive scope of which users are tapping their smartphones for help with shopping.

    Google has commissioned a study by independent market research firm Ipsos OTX to find how and to what degree smartphone users are accessing their devices for buying purposes.  They study encompasses over 5,000 U.S. adult smartphone users who reported their usage at the end of last year.

    First, some of the generic findings regarding smartphone use:  81% browse the web, 77% use search and 48% watch videos on their phones.  72% of the sample group use their smartphone while consuming other media like listening to the radio or reading the newspaper.  A third of the people reported smartphone use while watching TV.  93% of people surveyed reported smartphone use while they were at home.  No word on whether this includes use to make and receive calls or just use in browsing and searching the internet.

    Of those surveyed who use their phones for mobile browsing, 95% look for local information.  That includes looking for contact info for local businesses, mapping locations of restaurants and accessing business’ websites.  88% of those that found info that way acted on it within a day.  77% have used their smartphones to contact a business.

    The implications of this information are pretty obvious.  Businesses need to have a mobile presence whether that means easily accessible mobile sites or integration with various forms of social media.  The next set of findings show why mobile ads are so incredibly important.  From the Google Mobile Ads Blog:

    Purchase-driven Shoppers: Smartphones have become an indispensable shopping tool and are used across channels and throughout the research and decision-making process.

    • 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer
    • 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase, whether online, in-store, or on their phones
    • 70% use their smartphones while in the store, reflecting varied purchase paths that often begin online or on their phones and brings consumers to the store

    Reaching Mobile Consumers: Cross-media exposure influences smartphone user behavior and a majority notice mobile ads which leads to taking action on it.

    • 71% search on their phones because of an ad exposure, whether from traditional media (68%) to online ads (18%) to mobile ads (27%)
    • 82% notice mobile ads, especially mobile display ads and a third notice mobile search ads
    • Half of those who see a mobile ad take action, with 35% visiting a website and 49% making a purchase

    So it looks like people take notice of mobile ads, and often times those mobile ads prompt a user to search for more information about a product or service.  And even if the user isn’t buying things straight from the phone, the phone is being used as an aid for in-store shopping.

    Below is a video that highlights some of the findings.  Here, we learn that 1 in 3 surveyed would give up chocolate in order to keep their smartphones.  These responders must be men (hah!).  It is also in this video that we learn the most important statistic that the study uncovered – 39% reported use of their smartphones while in the bathroom.  Only 39%?  Bathroom time = office time, guys. Get with it.

    The full report will be detailed in a webinar tomorrow.  you can register for that here.  After that webinar is complete, check back with the mobile ads blog to download a full copy of the study.

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