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Mobile Searches Lead to Purchases Within a Day

According to a new study by Google, 92% of consumers who use a smartphone to research a product or service make a purchase within a day. The survey, as reported by Ad Week, looked at how mobile devices benefit consumers, finding that 76% of those searching for a product offered nearby visited a related business within a day.

Smartphones were the most popular device for addressing needs among respondents (96%), while 73% use a laptop and 33% use a tablet. Half reported using more than one device.

To conduct the study, Google asked 1,000 of its users to take a survey several times a day for a week that asked about their daily needs and how a mobile device helped to meet them. At the conclusion, Google had 14,000 responses available to study.

“What we found in this diary setting is what we’ve been seeing over the last few years,” Lisa Gevelber, vice president of marketing for Google, told Ad Week. “This shift to mobile is not just a shift in biases – it’s a dramatic shift in consumer behavior and in expectations.”

Google also found that respondents used smartphones to fulfill not only immediate needs, but also those to be addressed later that day or in the future.

“It is interesting that what consumers want, what we [Google] want and what our clients want are all perfectly aligned,” said Gevelber. “Consumers want relevant results when they want them, clients want to reach the right person who’s actually interested in what they have to offer at the right moment.”

Additionally, the study found that women were more likely than men to look at images online (58% to 42%), women were more likely than men to connect with a business directly (41% to 33%) and millennials connected to companies via text or messaging app more often than other generations (47% to 36%). However, the survey found that adults over 35 were more likely than millennials to visit a retailer website or app (80% to 70%). Among the top actions people took to address needs were “used a search engine” (91%), “visited a retailer website or app” (75%) and “visited a non-retailer website or app” (71%).

In May, Google stated that mobile shopping searches had increased by 30% year-over-year, as reported by Ad Week at the time, and that a third of all purchases resulting from an online search take place on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.

The promotional products industry’s efforts have varied to match the increasing prevalence of searching and purchasing via mobile devices. More than half (57%) of distributors have a mobile-friendly website. Meanwhile, only 27% of suppliers says their company websites are ecommerce-capable. In Counselor magazine’s 2016 State of the Industry issue, distributors’ top competitive threat continues to be online wholesalers, in part for their speed and mobile optimization. It’s a percentage that has increased steadily over the past several years, reaching 44% in 2015, up from 35% in 2011 and 26% in 2008.