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Study shows mobile now key tool in path to purchase online and in-store

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Mobile is driving in-store sales, with as many as 42% of people who research goods on the go are looking to convert in store – with more than a third actually doing so.

So finds the latest annual study by xAd, a specialist in location-based marketing, which also reveals that 56% of consumers who used their smartphone for in-store research made a purchase at the physical location, compared to 40% who ultimately purchased online.

According to the study, more than half of consumers visited a business as part of their research in 2105 – up by 42% on 2014 – and more than a third completed the transaction in-store (up 13% on last year).

56% of consumers who used their smartphone for in-store research made a purchase at the physical location, compared to 40% who ultimately purchased online.

And they are quick too, once they have made their decision. In fact, more than half (56%) of shoppers want to convert within the day. Even for big-ticket purchases – like cars – that take a great deal of research and consideration, nearly a quarter of shoppers (23%) searching on their smartphones want to convert right away.

Two-thirds of consumers wanting to make a transaction within an hour expect to travel up to 5 miles from their current location.

More widely, the study goes on to suggest that mobile is increasingly the device of choice for many shoppers when it comes to research and making a purchase decision.

53% of UK consumers report their mobile devices as being the most essential aid to their purchase decision.

Smartphone owners under 35 are 2.5 times more likely to rely on their smartphones as their primary source of information than consumers over the age of 55. For marketers trying to target the illusive millennial demographic, mobile must be at the top of their list.

Mobile-only purchases have grown steadily in the past two years across all categories. In particular, for quick and frequent purchases for groceries and retail, over a third of respondents rely solely on mobile to research buying decisions. But even for large purchases like automotive vehicles, nearly one in ten consumers relied solely on their smartphone for purchase information.

Theo Theodorou, Head of EMEA, xAd explains: “Over half of UK consumers cite mobile as their most important media for researching a purchase. Mobile is quickly overtaking desktop and as people increasingly rely on their smartphones, there’s a huge opportunity for brands to engage with their audience by leveraging the ‘here and now’ nature of the mobile device. The context around a consumer’s location – where they are and where they’ve been – is one of the strongest indicators of purchase intent in real-time and provides brands with invaluable insight about how to engage consumers when they’re either on-the-go or using their device at home.”

Jon Mew, COO of IAB UK, comments: “Mobile is now central to so many on and offline purchases and we welcome xAd’s research to help educate the industry about the role it plays. With usage growing and mobile advertising now accounting for 39% of all digital display it’s more important than ever that marketers can understand the value of mobile.”

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