Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Smartphones & Mobile Search – A New Zealand Perspective

I recently attended a BBQ and a friend raised the question “does anybody know the score in the rugby?” to my amazement a friends grandfather pulled out an iPhone, made a search and announced the score.

So, it's safe to say that smartphones and the performing of searches on these devices is not a fad. The following stats back up this view;

  1. A study conducted by Canalys in late 2010 identified that 27% of New Zealanders had a smartphone and Google have predicted that in mid-2011 smartphone penetration reached 35% with the trend to continue.
  2. Based on data published by the IAB NZ, 55% of smartphone users have accessed a search engine via their mobile phone.
  3. Internal Google data indicates that between 7-10% of searches are performed on a mobile device.
The way we use these devices has also started to change significantly as evidenced by these trends;
  1. Until recently, mobile searches were heavily weighted towards quick, low consideration, functional searches for products and services such as movie session times, restaurant addresses, driving directions, etc… but now the time spent online using a mobile device is increasing, with people interacting via social media sites, conducting in-store competitor price/product comparisons, consuming media and making purchases.
  2. A recent Google User Behaviour Study identified that one in three searches on a mobile is locally related.
  3. People’s path to purchase is typically a lot shorter when searching via mobile devices. For example, a recent US study identified that 61% of individuals who made a search for a service on a mobile device called the business and 59% visited the business.
2011 has undoubtedly spelt the rise of the smartphone and we believe that this trend will continue through into 2012 and beyond. The mobile device is closing the gap between generic search based product consideration and purchase. Our recommendation - consult with your agency, prepare your website for mobile users, develop a Mobile Search strategy and take advantage of this ever-growing market.

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