CORRECTED: Desktops lead mobile for search

12 December 2012

LONDON: UK smartphone owners remain wedded to their desktops when it comes to searching for information on products and services, according to the Direct Marketing Association.

The body polled 1,000 UK consumers on their smartphone usage and preferences for its Mobile Search 2012 publication.

Just 15% of consumers opt to use their smartphone for search purposes ahead of a desktop, despite the significant penetration of smartphones in the UK where 56% of mobile users own one.

A further 25% are happy using either, while fully 60% of consumers choose to use a desktop when searching for information.

Faster loading times are cited as a reason for using desktops by 44% of survey respondents, followed by an easy-to-use search bar, referenced by 37%.

When smartphone users are using their device to research potential purchases, the survey found almost twice as many prefer search engine apps to branded apps: 68% against 37%.

Mobile browsers follow closely behind with 35%, while other apps account for the remaining 17% of tools used.

The most popular reason for using mobile search is to look for offers and deals, stated by 50% of respondents.

The other two significant reasons are to look for directions, quoted by 44%, and to hunt for information about a brand, mentioned by 40%.

A further 27% said they use mobile search when looking for somewhere to eat.

News was cited as the content most searched for, with 54% using their smartphones to keep up to date on the latest events.

Other popular content includes information on high street retailers (30%), restaurants and hotels (29%), supermarkets (26%) and consumer electronics (23%).

CORRECTION: This story was amended on 12 December 2012, removing an ambiguous quote from the DMA.

Data sourced from DMA; additional content by Warc staff