Smartphones shape shopper habits in UK

26 August 2011

LONDON: Smartphones are exerting an increasingly powerful influence on the media consumption and purchase habits of UK consumers, new figures show.

Google, the online giant, partnered with Ipsos Media CT, the research firm, to survey 2,000 smartphone subscribers, and found that 55% log on to the web every day using these devices.

In all, 98% of respondents regularly used this gadget at home, reaching 89% for doing so on the move, 74% at work, 68% in stores and 58% in restaurants.

During the week before the poll, 51% of the sample browsed the web, 42% entered an enquiry on a search engine, 38% employed an app and 18% streamed video.

Elsewhere, 65% of featured consumers agreed accessing the net in this way is typically an exercise to pass the time when waiting for something, 52% want to quickly track down information and 48% perceive the mobile web as a "modern accessory".

To date, 74% of contributors have used a smartphone simultaneously with another form of media, including 53% watching TV, 26% going online and 18% reading newspapers or magazines.

A 22% share of participants would rather give up the TV than their smartphone, standing at 18% regarding desktop PCs, while 21% now read newspapers and magazines less frequently, as they prefer viewing such material on wireless handsets.

For more commercial matters, 45% of smartphone users deployed their phone during the shopping process, with 24% "intentionally" carrying this device to compare prices and look for information.

A slight majority (51%) of people had bought goods or services after conducting research on a smartphone, with 37% completing transactions via a computer, 24% buying in stores and 20% doing so on their phone.

Moreover, 21% of the shoppers questioned had changed their mind about making a purchase in a store as a result of information gathered using their phone.

Overall, 28% of interviewees had acquired something directly from their phone, with items like music, apparel, tickets and electronics some of the top-performing categories here.

A further 87% of the panel recalled seeing mobile ads, peaking at 43% for paid search, but falling to 31% for in-app display ads, 27% for equivalents on ecommerce sites and 13% when discussing video websites.

Some 28% of people took action after being exposed to brand messages in this way, such as contacting the advertiser, visiting stores or purchasing the product concerned.

Data sourced from Google; additional content by Warc staff