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Mobile search growing fast - survey

18 March 2013, 11:37Duncan Alfreds

Cape Town - Entertainment still dominates mobile search, but consumers are also using their cellphones to make shopping-related queries, research has shown.

Google on Monday released its Mobile Search Moments survey conducted in partnership with Nielsen which showed that searches for entertainment made up 15% of queries, followed by news (12%), general knowledge (10%) and shopping (7%).

The survey which was done with the assistance of around 416 respondents over a two week period, found that mobile searches were likely to be done because of the speed and convenience associated with using a mobile device.

The majority of mobile searches occur late in the day, the survey found with around 40% of search requests between 18:00 and 00:00.

As an indicator that search is moving to mobile, the survey found that 77% of searches were conducted even when users had a PC available to them.


Mobile is also associated with speed and convenience as 81% of respondents preferred to use the mobile devices as opposed to computers.

"It was easier on the mobile device as I didn't have to get up [to] turn on the computer and wait for it to boot up," a respondent noted.

Critically for businesses, mobile searches are more likely to result in real world actions 73% of the time.

About a quarter of searches led to users visiting the store's website, but that was split into 71% of mobile searches, versus only 13% of desktop searches.

Of the 17% of users who made a purchase following a search query, 52% did so in person, versus 34% with mobile devices, and 10% on the PC.

The survey also revealed that mobile search was a part of the buying process for users with 64% of search queries taking place in stores and 51% are more likely to purchase a product.


Ads are more recognisable in the mobile space, but only when users are in the retail environment, the survey showed. If the adverts supplied information to consumers, there was a higher likelihood of them being remembered.

The survey also seemed to re-enforce the web as the primary vehicle for search queries, with 56% initiated in the browsers, while apps accounted for 40% of searches.

The survey did not reveal the difference in search queries based on mobile platforms, nor whether mobile devices were smartphones, feature phones or tablets.

- News24


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