'I Need it Now!' Mobile Device Users Demand Instant Transactions

by Jessica Ramesh Unique Digital

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Unique Digital and YouGov call for brands to seize the opportunity as research finds that ‘search & purchase’ exceeds ‘search only’ for the first time with mobile transaction values continuing to rise. The research legitimises the 68 per cent mobile ad spend reported by IAB

Almost half (42 per cent) of online consumers now use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to search for and complete travel and financial purchases online, and more than half (54 per cent) have booked hotels in this way, according to a Unique Digital/YouGov study.

As the mobile device channel has matured, a quarter of consumers complete instant transactions on a smartphone or tablet rather than searching and completing their purchases in-store or on a PC or laptop.

This is undoubtedly one of the drivers behind the increased spend on mobile advertising in the last year, with the latest IAB figures stating that mobile advertising has grown 68 per cent – from £429.2 million to £707.1 million.

Unique Digital is calling for brands to create an effective mobile strategy to take advantage of this alignment of search and purchase. In particular, the digital expert recommends overhauling mobile apps to streamline payment and transaction completion and address the device-driven consumer.

Unique Digital’s survey asked consumers about their use of apps for banking, purchasing insurance and booking hotels, flights and car hire.

The number of consumers using a smartphone or tablet to research and purchase these products now exceeds those who use them for research only (37 per cent). When it comes to apps, consumers want it quick and easy, the report continues. The top two reasons consumers gave for downloading apps on mobile devices to complete purchases were ease of use (44 per cent) and speed of use (33 per cent).

This gave apps the edge over traditional incentives across all searching and purchasing influencers such as familiarity with the brand (24 per cent), personalised offers/discounts (16 per cent) and personalised content (16 per cent). Overall across all platforms however, price remains the main influencer of purchase decision (78 per cent).

Phil Stelter, managing director of Unique Digital, says: “These latest IAB figures reflect the growing importance of mobile, and with the introduction of Apple Pay and companies releasing first generation NFC payment technologies, online and offline purchase behaviour will converge as the customer begins to determine which POS they prefer.

“Our research shows that we are at the start of an all-commerce age: terms such as ‘ecommerce’ and ‘mcommerce’ are set to be consigned to the dustbin of history. The days of consumers just researching items on mobile devices are gone: purchases are being completed on the same device with increasing regularity now.

“Brands need to take advantage of this trend by focusing on the data collection that unifies their understanding of a new mobile consumer and campaign planning that delivers messaging and experiences which don’t try to dictate how consumers should interact with their brands.”