Nielsen’s Mobile Consumer Report
Nielsen have just released their Mobile Consumer Report. It’s got some interesting findings, so we thought we’d give you a summary.
The current landscape
Mobile phone ownership in both developed and high-growth countries has reached a critical mass, with no growth from the first half of 2012. The high rates of ownership are shown in the below graph:
Nevertheless, the kinds of phone we own are changing. Smartphone ownership is highest in South Korea, China, Australia and the UK, whilst those in Turkey and Brazil were most likely to own a multimedia phone. Feature phones are most popular in India, owned by 80% of all those with a device.
Some countries have a higher prevalence of multiple-device ownership, too, as highlighted by the coloured segments in these pie charts:
The report also contains interesting information on where and why we purchase our devices. 49% of Russian mobile users purchased their device at a major electronics or media store, whilst 39% of those in the UK purchased online. Factors vary by location: value for money is most important in the US, UK, Italy and China, as opposed to Russians who care about ‘stylish design’ or Chinese consumers, who want a large choice of apps.
Behaviours: shopping, social & video
Worldwide, text messaging is by far the most popular use of a mobile device. E-mail, instant messaging, social networking and the general use of apps are big too; the latter two showing high penetration in almost all markets other than India. Within the use of applications, social networking is strongest in the US, where 85% of smartphone owners are regular users, followed by 67% in Brazil and 60% in China. 58% of UK smartphone owners regularly make use of social apps.
Smartphones have the biggest impact on shopping for US users, who are most likely to use their devices for in-store price comparison, online coupons and purchasing products.
Another big use of smartphones is in watching mobile video, the frequency of which is shown below. This is most prevalent in emerging markets, especially China, and less so in the developed world, with the exception of the US.
In most countries, video is most often accessed via mobile web, but South Korean and UK users prefer to use a mobile app. In the US, both mobile web and applications are hugely popular: 72% of smartphone owners watch mobile video through these. Downloading clips is the least popular method in most countries, other than in India, where it outranks applications and Russia, where the two are level.
As smartphone usage grows, it is unsurprising that mobile advertising increases with it. In every country other than India, more than 50% of smartphone users who receive mobile ads did so at least once a day.
The effectiveness of these ads varies by country, too. In developed countries, people are less likely to click on adverts, whilst fast-developing countries see greater success. Interestingly, whilst it was shown above that Indian smartphone owners are least likely to receive ads, they are more likely to submit personal details once an ad is seen.
So, there’s a whole host of information about the differing nature of mobile ownership around the world. We’re seeing smartphones take over the developed world, with developing economies following not too far behind. All across the world, we’re using our phones for more and more exciting activities: apps, social networking, m-commerce. When it comes to mobile advertising, we’ve seen an increase in volume, which may well be responsible for a dip in effectiveness.
There’s plenty more in the report, too. For even more information, as well as details of the research methodology in different countries, make sure to have a look at the whole thing.
Our two cents:
It’s certainly no surprise to learn of the compound growth rate of research and purchases for mobile shoppers. While some retailers made early bets in mobile that have in some cases yielded 20% increase in online sales, most are still trying to define an overall mobile strategy. So when the IBM says things like “Retailers are going to have to do a really good job in targeting their messages and promotions for mobile users” we can’t help but shed some light on what exactly that means for most retailers. Below are a few key points to “getting it right” for any retailer:
- Remember that mobile shoppers are surgical shoppers. And just as importnat, remember that shopping on a retailer’s mobile site means visual shopping, especially for ESL shoppers. Therefore, keeping copy to a minimum and getting multiple (and easily downloadable) images on the site is key. With the average mobile device shopper spending about 4 minutes on a site, it becomes imperative for retailers to quickly serve up ONLY the most relevant content. Furthermore, mobile shoppers also tend to do less browsing and look at fewer products when they shop, making it more imperative for retailers to personalize messages and content. Simply put, shoppers go to websites to get ideas, but they go to mobile sites to get what they want.
- Use social networks to drive engagement and sales online. Social networks are an important factor in retail. According to IBM Coremetrics data, 9.2% of consumers in October that came to a retailer’s web site from a social media site made a purchase, compared to 5.5% who visited the store site directly. Retailers should not walk away from this fact thinking that adding a social networking step to the shopper journey is the right way to go. “Liking” or “following” a brand on a social network is a non-linear action for shoppers and not part of the traditional sales funnel. Therefore, retailers would be ill-advised to treat it like any other media channel.
- Invest in mobile search. This is one of the few silver bullets retailers have in mobile and not nearly enough of them use it. The simple fact is that everyone uses mobile search and with google now running a mobile-specific algorithm, retailers must respond with mobile-specific SEO and SEM strategies.
From Eli Goodman, comScore – August 29, 2011
iPhone vs. Android is definitely one of the most frequently debated topics around my office. Which phone do you have? Why that one and not the other? Our San Francisco office almost exclusively has iPhones, and our New York office is littered with Androids. But when it comes to searching for these devices, there is almost no difference between us.
As you can see below, iPhone searchers and Android searchers mirror each other very closely. Considering that searchers of both brands also conduct almost the exact same number of searches for these phones (about 4 per searcher), I would liken these searchers to independent voters. They have not made up their minds yet and there will be multiple times to speak with them before they convert and make a purchase. Knowing that there isn’t a distinct branded search audience would lead me to believe that these searchers are more interested in features, functions, pricing, and carriers, than they would be in defining themselves by the brand, ala Apple Fanboys.
- Mobile Is Highly Engaging: There’s no other platform that can allow you to touch and engage with a product or brand like mobile can, so intrigue users to interact with your advertising campaign. Invite them to swipe, rotate, tell their own story, or upload their own personal video: the sky’s the limit. The Gilt Groupe, for instance, ran a iPad Rich Media Interstitial ad that lets users interact with multiple product images by swiping and enlarging the images in an interactive manner. Users simply tap or pinch-out and, in this case, have the option to download the app directly from the Apple Marketplace. Recommendation: Tie mobile into other branding and channel marketing strategies and look at tapping into Mobile’s unique native features to further engage customers.
- Local Drives Business: We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we believe in local search. The most popular mobile shopping activity is locating the nearest retailer. When consumers find local information, 88% take action within a day; of this number, 61% call a retailer and 59% visit a store. (1) Recommendation: Be discoverable and drive store foot traffic when consumers are searching for your business, products, or services. Integrate store locators into your display campaigns to help your customers find stores nearest to them.
- Consumers Want Offers: Google research shows that 70% of consumers use their smartphones while shopping. Why? Consumers love to compare prices while in a store. When we analyzed last year’s holiday search trends, we found a 250% increase over the previous year in searches related to offers and deals. Recommendation: Use Ads with Offers and mobile coupons in both search and display to drive consumers into your stores and keep them there while they are comparison shopping. Include mobile to distribute promotional offers and time-sensitive coupons and designate custom mobile codes to track the return on your ad spend.
- Consumers Engage with Mobile on Multiple Platforms: More than 165 million tablets are expected to ship in the next two years, and according to eMarketer, 41% of people say shopping is their sole purpose for buying a tablet. As a result we’ve noticed a big surge in search on tablets which has prompted us to completely redesign and optimize the tablet search results page for a touch interface. This means retailers need to have a cross-platform strategy which includes tablets. Recommendation: Test new ad formats and redesign experiences specifically for different types of devices. Target tablets within your existing desktop search campaigns or break them out to ensure appropriate coverage, especially during this holiday season. Reach the tablet customer via new rich media ad templates that make it easy to execute a rich user experience resulting in extremely high engagement. These templates take advantage of tablets’ larger screen sizes, high-res graphics, touch screens and multimedia capabilities to drive deep engagement with mobile audiences. Take a look at our launch partner video here!
- Mobile Is Incremental: Fifteen percent of all shopping-related searches are now on a mobile device. This spells opportunity for retailers to tap into search growth by specifically targeting mobile devices and tablets. When one advertising agency expanded their client’s business onto mobile, they saw some unexpected but very interesting behaviors. 20% of clients who conducted research on the desktop finalized their purchases on mobile devices. Seeing this incredible crossover data, they invested in mobile search advertising by leveraging Google’s Click-to-call ads to drive traffic to their call centers and also sent mobile users to an easy to use two-step ordering process on mobile and tablet sites. This investment led to a large increase of new prospects and also lowered the cost of a sale by 25% when occurring on mobile versus the call center. This is just one example of what can be achieved. Recommendation: We see huge search spikes during the holiday season, as the above shopping query trend graph illustrates. In fact, last year Google saw a 250% increase on Black Friday related queries vs 2009 during the week of Black Friday and we’re hoping for another banner year for mobile. This is a valuable time to get in front of consumers, so have specific mobile holiday strategies in place and establish appropriate budgets. Below are two examples of how Target and Home Depot used Black Friday messaging during the week of Black Friday to capture the increased demand.
- A Word On Measurement: Mobile acts as a bridge and impacts your in-store and online channels. The opportunity is huge, but it requires innovative thinking, adapting to new realities, and challenging the assumed models. Our research shows that when consumers make purchases as a result of research conducted on their phones, 76% purchase in-store and 59% purchase online, while a smaller portion purchase on their phones. Recommendation: Measure mobile differently; don’t measure success solely on mobile sales broadly. Think of conversions differently — metrics such as a store look-up, customer sign-up, redemption of an offer in store, or app downloads are important. Tablets, on the other hand, have shown very strong eCommerce ROI, especially in retail, and can be measured more like desktop.
To learn more about the above recommendations, download the Full Think Retail Mobile Deck here.
For a quick snapshot of what’s available for retail in mobile now, check out our retail sizzle video.
Posted by: Alex Barza, Senior Account Executive, Mobile & Kacy Brod, Mobile Head of Display, Retail
Despite what we’d all like to think, mobile shopping still has long road of maturity in front of it. But as Wayne Gretsky once said:
A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.
Therefore, understanding how these early adopters are shopping via their mobile phones can help retailers preparing for the growing consumer adoption of mobile commerce.
- More than 33.3 million U.S. consumers already engage in shopping-related activities on their mobile phones, says research firm Experian Simmons in its “2011 Mobile Consumer Report.” 7%, or 2.3 million, of those consumers have made a purchase on their devices, the report finds.
- According to data from the Simmons National Consumer Study conducted by Experian Simmons, which surveyed 24,722 adults between February 2010 and March 2011, 15% of U.S. mobile phone owners research products and compare prices using their mobile phones. What types of products are they searching for? 23% are interested in buying tickets to movies and events, with 16% investigating travel services and 15% games and toys.
- The survey also found that 8% of mobile phone owners use their smartphones to scan bar codes to get more product information.
Natalie Rojowsky, Google Mobile Ads Research
Thursday, June 16, 2011 | 3:43 PM
Today, in collaboration with the Mobile Marketing Association, we shared the initial findings from an exciting global research initiative at the MMA Forum in New York City. The research, “Global Mobile Research: The Smartphone User & The Mobile Marketer”, was conducted by Ipsos GmbH and TNS Infratest and sought to better understand mobile usage trends and business’ readiness for mobile marketing strategies. The study was comprised of two surveys: an online survey of thousands of mobile consumers in 30 countries, and the other, a telephone survey of 1,000 marketing decision makers, 200 in five key markets. Today we presented a subset of the data which focused on five countries: US, UK, France, Germany and Japan. Here are just a few of the key findings.
We gained some new insights about global smartphone user behavior:
Smartphones are a frequently used gateway to the web:
- A significant number of smartphone users accessed the internet via their smartphone every day of the past seven days: US-58%, UK-55%, France-59%, Germany-45%, Japan-78%
- And many users go online via their smartphones multiple times a day: US-53%, UK-49%, France-47%, Germany-42%, Japan-68%
Smartphone users are engaging in a variety of activities on their phone:
- Smartphone users have looked for local information on their mobile devices: US-90%, UK-81%, France-83%, Germany-85%, Japan-90%
- And these local information seekers have taken action after looking up local content: US-87%, UK-80%, France-83%, Germany-79%, Japan-80%
The smartphone is playing a critical role in shopping:
- Across the board, consumers are using their smartphone while in a store: US-82%, UK-68%, France-82%, Germany-65%, Japan-75%
- Not only are smartphone users using their mobile phones while shopping, they are also making purchases on their mobile device: US-29%, UK-28%, France-17%, Germany-28%, Japan-45%
We also gained some directional visibility into the mobile activities of marketing decision makers:
- Only a fraction of businesses in the five countries report having mobile optimized sites: US-33%, UK-17%, France-12%, Germany-37%, Japan-43%
- Fewer than a third of businesses surveyed have an app: US-19%, UK-15%, France-18%, Germany-26%, Japan-10%
- Mobile commerce strategies of the businesses we spoke with primarily target upper funnel activities: 65% reported that their mobile strategy targets the research phase of the shopping process
The full presentation is available here. In the coming months we will be releasing additional data and insights from other countries surveyed as part of this project.
Posted by: Natalie Rojowsky, Google Mobile Ads Research
Above all else, make sure to spend time creating a graphically light, quick-to-load home page. Secondly (but not secondarily) make sure to spend time making sure that the search functionality returns speedy, relevant results. These are probably the two most important qualities to a retailer’s mobile commerce site.