San Francisco, CA — A survey conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) shows that customers in the United Kingdom prefer to use search engine applications rather than brand applications when searching on their smartphones for product information.
The DMA’s study, dubbed the Mobile Search 2012 survey, determined that 68 percent of smartphone owners in the U.K. chose search engines to conduct research on their potential purchases. Alternatively, only 37 percent of U.K. smartphone user opted for brand apps to research potential purchases. Mobile browsers accounted for 35 percent of search usage.
In the survey, the DMA determined that it was half of U.K. users chose mobile search “when looking for offers and deals.” Around 40 percent of users looked up information with their cell phones and 27 percent used their smartphones to for information about eating establishments.
The head of mobile for ITV, Richard Hicks, who is also a member of the DMA’s Mobile Marketing Council, said: “While it’s reasonable to expect that the rise of smartphone ownership would lead to the imminent demise of desktop our research suggests this isn’t happening as quickly as anticipated.
“However, smartphones have quickly assumed an important role in the lives of consumers,” Hicks said. “This research is essential reading for marketers to understand how and why consumers are using smartphones to search for information online.”
Although more than 50 percent of mobile users own a smartphone, a small majority – 60 percent – prefer to use their desktop or laptop computers to search for the information they seek, compared to 15 percent who prefer their smartphone for searching over their PC.
Other data revealed by the DMA Mobile Search 2012 study, conducted from a poll of 1,000 U.K. consumers, showed that 80 percent of U.K. residents used the Internet in 2012, 64 percent gave a home computer of some type, and 56 percent own smartphones.
The most popular search was for news, which amounted to 54 percent of respondents. Users looking for deals and offers constituted 50 percent of those using mobile Web search tools while 44 percent used direction tools, and 40 percent conducted searches about a specific brand.
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