NEW YORK: Nearly half of American mobile shoppers find mobile ads to be informative and helpful, up from 22% in 2013, and 40% click on mobile ads because they're relevant to their purchase research, a new study has revealed.

Now in its third year, the latest US Mobile Path-to-Purchase study also found that almost half of those who click on a mobile ad go on to conduct a secondary action, such as looking for more information, using a coupon, or visiting a website.

Based on a mix of survey responses and behavioural data from 6,000 US smartphone and tablet users, the study was conducted by Nielsen, xAd and Telmetrics, Marketing Land reported.

An infographic accompanying the report showed that just over half (51%) prefer ads that are relevant to their location and the top three reasons for mobile ad engagement are: coupons/discounts, brand recognition and local relevancy.

Among consumers who take action beyond clicking on mobile ads, the top five secondary actions are: visiting the advertised site (41%), looking for more information (38%), using a coupon or offer (28%), visiting a store (21%), and contacting the business (18%).

Consumers who take these actions after clicking on an ad are also likely to want to convert quickly and find businesses in their locality to make a purchase.

Over 70% look to make a purchase within a day, the report said, while half want to make a purchase within an hour. Two-thirds look for a business within a five mile radius, and 18% look for a location within one mile.

In perhaps a surprise finding, millennials are not the most receptive to mobile ads, the report found – just 37% of 18-24s and 41% of 25-34s agree that mobile ads are informative and helpful compared with half of 45-54s and 57% of 55-64 year-olds.

It also emerged that about 40% of clicks to ads are accidental, suggesting that clicks should not be given undue weight when measuring ROI metrics in mobile.

Summing up the report in comments to BizReport, Monica Ho, svp of marketing at xAd, said brands should be able to serve ads that are more relevant, engaging and effective than ever before.

"Marketers need to closely evaluate how to provide the right value when trying to reach their consumers, either through local relevance, free service, or even convenience," she said.

Data sourced from Marketing Land, Telmetrics, BizReport; additional content by Warc