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Smartphone Users Most Engaged with Ads While Shopping

Different mobile activities lead to different behaviors and engagement levels
AUGUST 31, 2011

With smartphones able to perform a variety of tasks, from communicating to information-seeking to shopping and beyond, consumers are spending more time with them than ever. And marketers have more chances than ever to reach them via mobile.

According to research from Yahoo! and Ipsos, smartphone users spend the bulk of their mobile time (38%) connecting, including by voice, SMS, IM, email or social media. They spend just under half as much of their mobile time with search or entertainment, and a relatively small 7% of their time shopping.

But mobile shopping is the task marketers are most interested in when it comes to smartphone users, especially in regards to advertising. The Yahoo!/Ipsos research found that US smartphone users were most likely to recall and engage with ads they saw while shopping on their phone. Nearly two-thirds of users had seen an ad while shopping and more than half that number had clicked on one.

Most of those ads are likely to have been seen in a mobile browser, since smartphone users typically preferred to shop using a browser vs. an app. In fact, for three of the top four ad recall activities, smartphone users were likely to be using a browser.

Connecting, by contrast, was most likely to be done outside a browser and least likely to involve an ad that smartphone users remembered or clicked on. This is unsurprising, since ads are most likely to seem disruptive when mobile users are conversing with friends and family by calling or texting.

eMarketer expects advertisers to spend $1.1 billion on mobile this year, and display ads, including those based in browsers, are expected to post solid growth, soon becoming the top mobile ad format.

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