Smartphone users are more likely to seek out information on new products than those who do not own a handset, a new report has found.
Forrester Research looked at how big a role mobile is playing in the process of product discovery. The firm found that smartphone owners in the US are significantly more likely to look for information about brands, products and services than those who do not own a smartphone. Overall, 57 per cent of smartphone owners actively hunt out new product information compared to 41 per cent of non-smartphone owners.
“From the mobile and from a holistic perspective, the big news is that consumers are continuing to be connected all the time,” said Gina Sverdlov, an analyst at Forrester Research, told Mobile Marketer.
“It is no longer the few select early adopters – the need for constant connection is trickling out to everyday consumers and smartphones and tablets are fuelling that trend.
“One of the most interesting findings is that consumers are really connected wherever they are – it is not just at home or at work but in a car, while travelling, during their daily commute, in the kitchen or at a friend’s house – the list doesn’t stop. Smartphones are a part of consumers’ everyday lives now.”
The report, called How Consumers Discover New Brands, Products, And Services, highlights what a clear opportunity firms have to harness mobile marketing to advertise their new products and services.
Location-based campaigns could be at the heart of many firms’ strategies, with two-thirds of survey respondents with a smartphone revealing that they have a location-based application on their handset. Furthermore, the majority use them to find out more about new shops, products and services.
Mobile was also found to be a key platform to encourage people through two key stages of the customer lifecycle following discovery – explore and buy. More than half (56 per cent) of US smartphone owners research products and nearly a third (31 per cent) buy products on their device at least once a month.
Other key findings from the report showed that the majority of people do still find out about products via traditional methods such as conversations with friends and via the internet.
Nearly eight in ten (79 per cent) consumers used internet search engines to find new products, while 32 per cent viewed general online ads. Nearly a third (30 per cent) looked at online consumer review sites, while many also relied on social networking sites. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) read messages and see ads on Facebook, seven per cent read messages and see ads on Twitter, and six per cent read and post messages on Pinterest.
The most popular method to discover new products through word-of-moth channels are online review sites, with 81 per cent of those actively searching for information doing so in this way.
“You see a lot of marketers that try to be everywhere but who are not really having the right message,” Ms Sverdlov added. “What marketers have to do is use technology in a smart way to make sure the message is relevant.”
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