One-third of shoppers now use mobile only

Mobile is now the dominant research tool as more than one-third of shoppers now claim to use mobile exclusively.  

Mobile has now surpassed desktop as a research tool with consumers spending more time on their mobile devices than ever. In fact, mobile devices account for up to 64 percent of time spent online and 42 percent of mobile users consider mobile the most important resource in their purchase process, according to a new report from xAD/Telmetrics.

But in spite of mobile's dominance in the research process, nearly two-thirds of mobile-driven purchases happen offline and 52 percent of shoppers using mobile in the search process said they went to a physical store to complete the purchase.

This is in line with the growing body of research that shows shoppers using mobile to inform brick and mortar buying. The more interesting news here, perhaps, is the revelation that nearly a third of shoppers say they use mobile devices exclusively, making it even more critical for retailers and brands to have clear mobile strategies.

"As mobile adoption increases, we see consumers turning to mobile as a necessary part of their purchase decisions," said Monica Ho, senior VP of marketing, xAd. "The impact of this increased mobile usage is significant and it isn't limited to on-device activity. With mobile consumers looking to make decisions quickly and locally, mobile is also serving as a tool to drive in-store activity."

Overall, mobile users convert in high numbers, with two out of three ultimately making a purchase and an additional 16 percent planning a purchase in the near future. The purchase rate is even higher (80 percent) among those looking to make restaurant transactions as the number of quick serve restaurants now offering mobile payments surely know.

At-home usage is also growing as half of smartphone shoppers are engaging with their device at home, a 66 percent increase over 2013, signaling more ubiquitous use of mobile and increased cannibalization of PC use.

"The truly pervasive nature of mobile is reinforcing the opportunity for advertisers to pursue mobile's ready to buy audience and clearer performance metrics," said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. "Capturing consumer engagement points throughout the mobile path to purchase is essential to optimizing mobile ad programs to reach consumers when they are most open to options for fulfilling their purchase needs."

For more:
-See this xAD/Telmetrics report (download)

Related stories:
Hispanics have higher rates of mobile engagement at retail
Retail sales up 168% from mobile-optimized sites
Apps dominate mobile as web browsing declines
Amazon, eBay, Walmart see more mobile-only visits
PayPal puts 'mobile first' in redesign