SINGAPORE: Consumers in Asia Pacific not only turn to mobile search to discover more about products, they do so in store and this offers brands opportunities to sway purchase decisions up until the final moment, according to new research.

A study for Google APAC, which surveyed 26,000 respondents across 17 industries in 14 markets, found that more than eight in 10 consumers researched purchases online – mostly on smartphones, with online touchpoints typically outnumbering offline ones – while continuing to buy in store.

For example, seven in 10 consumers carried out research in the baby care category despite it being a routine purchase category, with a similar proportion then buying offline.

Search (58%) was the most commonly used source of information, ahead of brand websites (48%), blogs/forums (46%), comparison sites (45%) and retailer websites (44%).

In the rather more infrequent purchase category of personal finance, just under two-thirds of consumers conducted research before buying offline (58%).

Here, brand websites (56%) were the first place they were likely to turn to ahead of search (49%), comparison sites or other sites (both 41%) and retailer websites (38%).

In both these categories, consumers conducted an average of six searches before buying – giving brands the same number of opportunities to engage in areas such as features, prices and reviews – and nearly one quarter had used online search in store.

“Be there across all moments once consumers go to their smartphones,” Katrien Bollen, performance ads marketing lead at Google APAC, told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

“Brands need to look across the whole journey, and be there in that very last moment,” she said. “But be smart about it. Use all the data points around intent and context, and deliver smart messages.”

Data sourced from Google APAC, Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by WARC staff