Note: This was originally published on ExclusiveConcepts.com as a guest blog article.
Today, almost 89% of all consumers use a search engine for purchase decisions, be it for movie tickets, the nearest gas station, comparing cars or searching for new shoes. And, we are seeing that one 1 in 3 online searches happen on a mobile device – more than doubling from a year prior. These trends are global, and eMarketer expects by 2017, one-third of the world’s population will be operating a smartphone. That’s two and a half billion people! From an advertiser’s standpoint, mobile advertising – which, according to Gartner, is estimated to hit $42 billion in spend by 2017, up from $13.1 billion in 2013.
Contrary to popular perception, mobile plays a key role throughout the consumer decision journey – and not just for showrooming or last-minute, low-consideration items. Microsoft Research and IPSOS conducted in-depth research with mobile consumers around the world to understand how the broad adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices were influencing the consumer’s path to purchase. What we found was that consumers rely on their mobile devices throughout the process – from the initial stages all the way through the shopping, purchasing and sharing process.
In fact, a study conducted by Nielsen for xAd & Telmetrics reports that 40% of smartphone users and 44% of tablet users relied exclusively on their smartphones or tablets in conducting online research across a range of purchase categories.
An additional key takeaway is the power of mobile search is to influence a user’s decision in their “mobile moment” when they are close to the point of purchase. We see that 70% of conversions* happen within 5 hours of mobile search versus 7 days for desktop search. This shortened conversion cycle reflects the heightened urgency of mobile queries – mobile users are often in their cars or in a public setting when they are searching for products or retail locations and need to get information while they are in transit.
Bing Ads Platform and Yahoo Bing Network
Trends are similar on our platform as well and we see that in 1 in 3 online searches happen on a mobile device. Mobile search volume as a % of all queries has more than doubled year-over-year across the Yahoo Bing Network over the past year.
We are seeing savvy advertisers taking advantage of the Yahoo Bing Network’s growing mobile search volume and the Bing Ads platform, which is consistently evolving and improving to get the best return on their mobile advertising investment.
The Yahoo Bing Network’s search and click volumes from smartphone users have also more than doubled year-over-year. Click volumes have generally outpaced growth in search volume – demonstrating the high degree of consumer engagement and relevance of mobile ads on the Yahoo Bing Network.
Taking a deeper look at year-over-year click growth in key verticals such as retail, technology and telecommunications, financial services, and automotive, the Yahoo Bing Network delivered big year-over-year gains in Q3, 2014. Tech and Telco was the big winner, with nearly 300% year-over-year growth, while retail, auto and financial services all doubled (or more!) in click volume.
The Bing Ads lineup of mobile products is designed to help move consumers through their path to purchase – and deliver conversions for advertisers.
At Bing Ads, we know that mobile devices are an important part of consumers’ lives. The Yahoo Bing Network is working hard to provide advertisers with the best mobile advertising ROI while building query share across all devices. Moving forward, advertisers can expect to see more value for their businesses as we continue to invest in increasing share. Here’s how:
- Site Link Extensions: Guide consumers onto your ideal conversion path to drive deeper mobile site engagement while delivering 10-15% improvement in CTR.
- Call Extensions: Click to call drives conversions while delivering 15-25% lift in CTR for campaigns. Consumers expect to be able to find a phone number in search results, and 47% of mobile search users said they would “explore other brands” if they didn’t quickly find phone numbers.
- Location Extensions: drive foot traffic, not just web traffic and our data shows +15% CTR lift for campaigns with Location Extensions. One of the top reasons that consumers use mobile search when they are on the go is to find locations and directions – leading directly to in-store purchases.
- App Extensions: New app extensions, which are now being piloted for a planned Q1 2015 launch, will make it easy for searchers to discover and download your app to Android, iOS or Windows Phone devices. These extensions will automatically be targeted to a specific user’s OS and device combination.
- Targeting Improvements: Even more precise targeting options, including zip code, radius and geo location targeting have recently been added, with even more on the way.
As the marketing mix debate rages on, one thing is clear: mobile advertising has never been easier or more effective, thanks to the Yahoo Bing Network. And you can count on Bing Ads to help you optimize this fast-growing platform with enhancements and support to ensure your success all year long.
Any additional comments please ping me on Twitter: @dtyagi