If you have a retail business, you probably “know” that mobile search is important and that you should start thinking about targeting mobile customers. After all, mobile adoption rates and usage continue to skyrocket, transforming this once-niche market into something that’s not only mainstream, but for many is their primary way to access the web and interact with the world. To put a number to it, more than 1.2 billion people now access the internet from mobile device. That’s an audience no one can afford to ignore.
But just because you have a vague understanding that you should be tapping into this market doesn’t necessarily mean you really understand why mobile customers can be so valuable. What makes this audience so special?
Mobile customers tend to be shopping now. When someone searches for a product from their mobile devices, there’s a very good chance that they arelooking to buy as soon as possible. How good? Studies have found that 30 percent of smartphone searchers and 25 percent of tablet users buy what they’re looking for within one hour. By making smart use of mobile features like the ability to add a one-touch phone number so that potential customers can call you, retailers can encourage immediate conversion.
Mobile customers follow through more often. According to the Mobile Path to Purchase study conducted by Nielsen, 55 percent of mobile retail shoppers actually end up buying something when they search. This means that you’re getting a better return on your investment when you target a mobile customer because those advertising dollars are aimed at people more likely to end up becoming paying customers.
Mobile customers spend more. When compared to people using traditional laptops and PCs – either at home or at work – retailers report that mobile users tend to spend more per order. 36 percent of retailers say that this is true for smartphone users and an incredible 77 percent of retailers find that tablet orders have a higher value.
Mobile customers prioritize nearby options. Research has shown that when smartphone users search for a product online, 77 percent of them ultimately go to a physical store to make the purchase. Unless there are no other options available, do you think that someone is going to drive across town? Probably not. This is something that obviously benefits companies with multiple locations, but it can also help small businesses to fend off bigger competitors by reaching customers who happen to be closer to their location.
Mobile customers buy more often. Google recently released a study showing that 20 percent of people who have smartphones use them to make a purchase every single day. Additionally, 14 percent buy something using their phone once a week, and 60 percent purchase a product or service using their phone at least once a month.
Mobile customers using smartphones and tablets are wealthier. According to Pew research reports, while a surprisingly high 47 percent of people making $30,000 or less per year have a smartphone, that number jumps to 61 percent for those making $50,000-$75,000 and soars to 81 percent for people earning over that amount. But the findings go beyond that; it’s not just that these potential customers have more money – they actually spend it. In fact, when compared to their less-wealthy counterparts, these users shop more than three times as much.
As you can see, there are lots of things that make mobile users incredibly valuable to retailers, regardless of how big or small you are. By using the right local search optimization techniques, you can connect with this growing demographic and convert them into paying customers far more readily than their non-mobile counterparts.