US shoppers go mobile

27 June 2011

NEW YORK: Consumers in the US are more engaged in a range of mobile media and commercial activities than their French and British counterparts, a study has found.

Microsoft Advertising, a specialist unit of the IT company, and ROI Research, the insights provider, surveyed 2,004 people in France, the UK and US.

All of the respondents used the mobile web each week and had bought something from their phone during the last six months.

Participants typically dedicated 9.8 hours a week to wireless services beyond voice calls and text messaging, a number consistent across the three featured nations.

As such, the study suggested mobile phones are exerting a "growing influence in everyday life" both as a discreet marketing medium and a cross-channel tool.

In demonstration of this, 40% of US interviewees had looked for additional product information on a handset upon watching a TV spot, hitting 22% in France and 16% in the UK.

In America, 57% of mobile internet users sought to track down extra details after being exposed to an ad on their phone, measured against 46% in France and 24% for the UK.

The analysis revealed behaviour patterns stayed consistent whether respondents were using an iPhone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry or alternatives powered by Google Android.

Accessing the net from a browser was also more widespread than doing so through applications in every case.

Looking to mobile search engine usage, 69% of US shoppers had attempted to source information while considering a purchase, scores surpassing 60% in France and the UK.

Half of Americans and Britons had read customer reviews or ratings, and tried to find coupons, in the same way, strategies adopted by four in ten of their French peers.

Exactly 40% of the sample from France reported making acquisitions utilising a mobile phone, just ahead of 39% in the US, and 34% for the UK.

Another 69% of people in the US checked the status of an order on their handset, an approach adopted by more than 60% of Britons and their French counterparts.

Moreover, 52% of Americans had shared product information with others, reaching 49% for the UK and 45% among the French.

A majority of participants recalled seeing mobile ads for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands while using a browser, falling to 36% for paid search and 25% for in-app executions.

When it came to visiting bricks and mortar stores after being exposed to a mobile ad for a CPG item, figures peaked at 88% in France and 87% in the US, compared with 68% in the UK.

Over a quarter of those polled who had clicked on a CPG search or browser ads went on to purchase the offering concerned offline.

Results here declined substantially for apps, largely due to the 5% yielded by the UK, some way behind the other countries monitored.

US and French shoppers registered 28% and 27% respectively for purchasing consumer packaged goods products on a mobile once they had clicked on browser and search ads, dropping to 17% in the UK.

Data sourced from Microsoft Advertising; additional content by Warc staff