Google UK head of mobile advertising, Simon Morgan, considers the most significant developments in the field of m-commerce and crunches the mobile numbers.
Over the past year we've seen smartphones overtake PC sales for the first time. The number of people on the mobile web globally has doubled, reaching one billion and in the UK there are now 20 million mobile internet users. If we think of search as being a barometer of consumer interest, in just 12 months there has been a huge shift.
Loyalty and the rise of the coupon
The finance, retail, travel and entertainment industries have seen their percentage of search queries coming from mobile entering double figures. In the financial sector we are seeing 12% of all financial queries coming through mobile. There are currently one million active mobile-banking users in the UK and that number is growing rapidly. Another fast-growing trend is mobile offers, loyalty and couponing. Searches for coupons from mobile devices have grown 800% year on year.
In retail in 2010 only 4% of all queries were coming through mobile; this year it's 13%. Our research shows that 24% of consumers are using smartphones to make instore comparisons. They are also using phones to carry out on-the-spot reviews, checking-in to stores and telling friends about it.
Consumers are not just using phones to compare. They're using them throughout the buying cycle. 28% use them at the start of the purchase consideration funnel for 'inspiration' and 15% use it in the middle for 'evaluation'.
Wish you were here
Travel has seen the biggest jump from 4% last year to 14% this year. Travel as a whole lends itself to the mobile platform, so it's no surprise we're seeing these results. Our latest case study from IHG demonstrates how one travel business used mobile to its full potential and got some great learnings. Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) wanted to learn about its mobile user -- whether they were using apps or the mobile web. They set up two campaigns to test both. They discovered that app-users were the loyalists whereas the mobile web users (searchers) were mainly new customers. That's a trend we're seeing across the board - apps are great for branding and retention but the mobile web is great for generating new leads. IHG saw a 91% increase in mobile revenue year-on-year which is fantastic.
Angry birds and pesky pigs
Mobile phones are also a key source of entertainment as shown by the 200 million views on YouTube mobile globally in the past year. We are also becoming addicted to gaming apps. Proof is the time spent playing mobile game, Angry Birds, is the equivalent of 125 years every single day! With so many people connecting to the internet via a mobile phone, it's staggering to think that only 17% of advertisers today have a mobile-optimised site. For businesses this is the single largest barrier between them and the mobile user. With 28% of users purchasing products from their smartphones, the time is now to build your mobile destination. My advice for marketers would be: take action. It's time to stop thinking and start 'doing' mobile. Marketers need to develop a mobile strategy and integrate this into their media mix.
Remember, every one of your desktop users is a mobile user too.
Bear in mind that 53 per cent of us are dual screening.
Build your mobile destination and connect with your users. Mobile users want it quickly and easily - it's the marketer's job to make it so.
Finally, my last words of advice are: refine and iterate with data. Whether it's in Adwords or through analytics, this is invaluable information that you can use and apply to everything from developing a strategy to building a mobile destination, to connecting with your users.
Simon Morgan will be speaking at ad:tech London 21-22 September 2011 about making the most of mobile. Register now for your free ticket or book tickets to the conference and claim 10% off using the code LASTMIN10.