New Mobile Path to Purchase Research Reveals Consumer Purchase Decisions are Influenced by Real-Time Location

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xAd’s fourth annual study shows 60% of consumers who research goods and services in-store will buy on location

2015 Mobile Path to Purchase

Mobile has fundamentally changed the consumer journey across the path to purchase. The context around a consumer’s location – where they are and where they’ve been – is one of the strongest indicators of intent.

xAd, the leader in location that enables marketers to reach the right people based on the real places they visit every day, today announced the results of a study that examined how consumers’ physical location affects purchase expectations and decisions. Easy access to instant information on mobile devices is driving consumers to demand immediacy and convenience—revealing the opportunity for influence and targeting as purchase decisions are being made in real time. xAd found that in-store smartphone usage has increased four-fold in the last two years.

The findings are detailed in xAd’s 2015 Mobile Path to Purchase report that analyzed survey responses from nearly 3,000 smartphone users in the U.S. and the U.K. who have used their device for a purchase decision in the past 30 days. Produced annually since 2012, the U.S. research study provides insight on how the always-on and on-the-go nature of mobile impacts consumers’ intent, immediacy and context—providing marketers with the information they need to engage their audiences at the optimal time and place. In fact, t he 2015 report reveals that 35% of U.S. shoppers who researched their impending purchases on their mobile device expect to buy within the hour – showing how consumers expect immediacy for purchase decisions. The U.K.-specific Mobile Path to Purchase report and results will be released by the end of the year.

“Mobile has fundamentally changed the consumer journey across the path to purchase. The context around a consumer’s location – where they are and where they’ve been – is one of the strongest indicators of intent,” said Monica Ho, Head of Marketing at xAd. “The 2015 Path to Purchase research shows that location is the crucial insight marketers need to provide today’s on-demand consumer with timely and relevant information to make smart purchase decisions.”

Four key themes emerged that share the intent, immediacy and context of mobile users.

Location Provides Context of Consumer Mindset

  •     On the go and ready to buy: For marketers, location-based insights are now essential to understand a person’s current mindset and needs. Those who research goods and services on the go are nearly twice as likely to purchase within the hour over those at home, and have a greater likelihood to convert in store.
  •     More leanback: 2015 is the first year where mobile use at home surpassed on-the-go. One-third of consumers searching at home will go on to complete their purchase on their mobile device.

Always-On Mobile Has Created An On-Demand Culture

  •     Long and short journeys both demand immediacy: For both restaurants and retail categories – fast and frequent purchases – the number of consumers wanting to complete a transaction continues to increase. Even for big-ticket purchases – like cars – that take a great deal of research and consideration, nearly a quarter of shoppers searching on their smartphones want to convert right away.
  •     Immediacy and proximity expectations go hand-in-hand: Half of consumers wanting to make a transaction within an hour expect to travel up to 5 miles from their current location.

Mobile Is Central to Purchase Decisions

  •     Mobile is #1 for Many Consumers: 44% of consumers report their mobile devices as being the most essential aid to their decision.
  •     Mind the Generation Gap: Smartphone owners under 35 are three times more likely to rely on their smartphones as their primary source of information than consumers over the age of 55. For marketers trying to target the illusive millennial demographic, mobile must be at the top of their list.
  •     Mobile-only purchase decisions now cross all categories: Mobile-only purchases have grown steadily in the past two years across all categories. In particular, for quick and frequent purchases from restaurants or groceries, nearly two-thirds of respondents rely solely on mobile to research buying decisions. But even 1 in 6 consumers who used their devices for a vehicle purchase did not rely on any other media.

Mobile Enhances the In-Store Experience

  •     In-store and always-on (mobile): This year, more than half of consumers visited a business as part of their research and year over year, in-store smartphone usage is on the rise, increasing by four times since 2013.
  •     Let’s get – and stay – physical: 60% of consumers who used their smartphone to research decisions in-store made a purchase at the physical location, compared to 35% who ultimately purchased online.

Armed with information that reveals consumer intent, immediacy and context, marketers can make data-based decisions to effectively tailor communication with their audiences. Detailed analytics and metrics also determine the content that drives engagement and ultimately, sales.

“The MMA knows through our own SMoX studies that marketers’ should spend as high as 25% of their total ad spend in mobile, and when they do, sales increase by nearly 15%. xAd has done a great job working to educate the market on how to best leverage mobile in marketing, especially using location and this year’s Mobile Path to Purchase study is another example,” commented Greg Stuart, Chief Executive Officer, at Mobile Marketing Association. “With MMA’s SMoX and xAd’s Mobile Path to Purchase reports, we are enabling marketers to know how to use the consumer shift to mobile channels to their advantage and increase in campaign and business performance.”

About the 2015 Mobile Path to Purchase Report
Since 2012, xAd has conducted its Mobile Path to Purchase study to understand how consumers are leveraging their mobile devices from initial purchase intent to conversions, while exploring consumer behavior and ad effectiveness across key industries. The 2015 Mobile Path to Purchase from xAd highlights some of the most impactful trends observed over the past four years. Conducted in March 2015, this year’s study contains online survey data from nearly 3,000 smartphone users in the U.S. and the U.K. who have used their device for a purchase decision in the past 30 days. xAd’s annual Path to Purchase study was the first such study in the market, commissioned and conducted with Nielsen.

Download xAd’s 2015 Mobile Path to Purchase report here:

About xAd
xAd enables real-time, location-based marketing, without the guesswork. Working with xAd, marketers can deliver more relevant, personalized messages to the right people they want to reach, based on the real places they visit everyday. Each month, xAd's patented location platform helps marketers reach over 300 million people globally via more than thirty thousand popular mobile applications. With xAd, marketers can say goodbye to assumptive marketing and reach the right people at real places in real-time with precision, relevance and confidence. Learn more:

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Katy Zack
xAd, Inc.
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