Local Corporation released survey results  last week from its latest round of consumer mobile shopping research. The survey – conducted in March and carried out by Chicago-based e-tailing group – consisted of nearly 1,300 US smartphone owners.

“When using a mobile device for product research, how do you search?”, among others, was one of the main questions being surveyed. The respondents replied in overwhelming favor of search engines:

  • Search engine: 73 percent
  • Specific mobile website: 33 percent
  • Mobile app: 24 percent

(Multiple responses were allowed)

You could argue that the form and wording of the question somewhat biased the possible outcomes of responses, but there’s no question that mobile search is vastly used in consumer product search.

Mobile “search results listings” was also the most influential category or variable when mobile users were asked “What influences your [buying/purchase] decisions?”:

When asked “What influences your buying/purchase decisions?”, mobile “search results listings” was also the most influential category and variable.

  • Search results listings: 50 percent
  • Ratings and reviews: 42 percent
  • Search results with local product availability: 31 percent
  • Email from retailers where consumer had opted-in: 30 percent
  • Group buying/coupons: 19 percent
  • Mobile apps: 9 percent

Interestingly, the results also showed that women were more influenced by email (33 percent [women] vs. 27 percent [men]) and men by search results (51 percent vs. 48 percent).

The survey also found that 27 percent of consumers had used their smartphones to pay for an in-store purchase at some point. It’s not clear from the data and discussion released what “in-store” means here (retail only or any offline purchase [e.g., Starbucks, QSR]?)

Reasons for not using a “mobile wallet” were security (44 percent) and privacy (36 percent). Asked what brands consumers trusted to handle or manage mobile wallets and mobile payments, consumers said Visa, PayPal and Apple but not Google:

  • Visa: 24 percent
  • PayPal: 21 percent
  • Apple: 15 percent
  • Amazon: 13 percent
  • Amex: 7 percent
  • Google: 6 percent

Mobile devices play a critical role in consumer shopping, and before 2012/13 we would most likely see most conversions or transactions happening on other devices (PC, tablet) or offline, in stores. In 2014 though we’ve seen a major shift towards everyday mobile usage, and it’s now common knowledge that there are more product searches in the UK on mobiles than on a personal computers.