As smartphone uptake increases, so too does the number of web searches being conducted from mobile devices. Analysts are also noticing that the type of search conducted on smartphones is quite different from the type of search conducted on desktop browsers. Says Phil Harpur of Frost & Sullivan:
“Search results from mobile searches are becoming more distinct to fixed internet searches, with a high proportion of mobile searches optimized for location based material. Also, click-to-call features are becoming more prominent in mobile search advertising.”
Despite the growth in mobile search, traditional desktop browsers are being used as much as they ever were – a strong indication that search advertising is experiencing a real boom time right now. Nevertheless, experts expect mobile searches to ultimately overtake desktop altogether, especially as mobile strategists work out more sophisticated, user-friendly ways of getting their material across. Google themselves have predicted that mobile search will account for more searches than desktop over the rest of the decade.
A number of studies and surveys support Google's prediction. Mobile spending went up 132% year on year, according to a recent Covario report. Globally, mobile search advertising accounted for 16% of the total spend in the second quarter of 2013, with 10% of those transactions coming from tablets, and 6% coming from smartphones.
Recent Telmetrics research indicates that 50% of mobile users in the US are beginning their search process on a mobile device, and 31% use it through to the end of the process. The same study found one in three smartphone owners search specifically for contact information, phone numbers and directions to outlets.
So what does all this mean for the mobile marketing industry? SMS is now harmonizing beautifully with mobile search to bring users a more localized, personalized experience. More than 50% of conversions from mobile searches take place within the hour, suggesting the channel encourages a more impulsive type of consumerism.
Smartphones offer consumers an easy conversion and a quick route to market. Business owners are embracing this new form of shopping by providing localized, personalized special offers. If you are yet to take on the challenge of smartphone search habits, 2014 could be the year everything changes.