What are we doing more on our mobiles? Shopping!

Web measurement firm Hitwise says that mobile now surpasses desktop in online retail searches; 56% of retail-related searches occurring on smartphones and tablets.

Results were compiled from “hundreds of thousands” of online search queries by consumers in the UK, USA and Australia, including searches on about 3.5 million smartphones and tablets.

Not surprisingly, location-based retail searches are predominantly from mobile devices: 84% of “where to buy …” queries were on mobile devices; 79% of “near me” queries were mobile.


Why should you care?

While the trend is not unexpected, of more interest to search advertisers wanting to set appropriate device-level bids were Hitwise’s reports on the types of queries by device.

Some 77% of searches that included the terms “coupon”, “return policy” and “price match” were from smartphones and tablets. “Sale” and “discount” were also more likely to figure in mobile users’ searches, with only 27% and 32% of searches, respectively, occurring on desktops.

Conversely, 59% of searches including “promo code” occurred on desktops.

In addition, Hitwise reports that 82% of retail searches with the word “reviews” are made on a smartphone or tablet, and 82% of searches for “engagement rings” are made on a mobile device.

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.