60 percent of Online Searches from mobile devices

SEO

60 percent of Online Searches from mobile devices

According to a recent report from Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of all Online Searches are now carried out on a mobile device, with some sectors reaching 72 percent.

According to a recent report from Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of all Online Searches are now carried out on a mobile device, with some sectors (Food and Beverage) reaching 72 percent.

Hitwise analyzed hundreds of millions of online search queries across multiple devices, including 3.5 million smartphones and tablets between April 10 and May 7, 2016, and included searches across all search engines. 

Hitwise found that 72 percent of all searches to a food and beverage website was carried out using a mobile device, while just 39 percent of banking searches came from a mobile device. Here are the full results:

Industry Share of online searches initiated on a mobile device
Food and Beverage 72 percent
Health 68 percent
Sports 68 percent
News and Media 64 percent
Lifestyle 62 percent
Automotive 62 percent
Retail 56 percent
Travel (non-maps) 52 percent
Real estate / Property 48 percent
Entertainment 42 percent
Banking 39 percent

According to the findings, mobile searches tend to serve a larger role in answering consumers' questions earlier on the purchase journey, with navigational or brand specific searches still more likely to be conducted from a desktop.

On the other hand, location-based searches (i.e. "near me"), are almost exclusively carried out on mobile.

Other takeaways from the report include:

  • Mobile searches are more likely to be structured in the form of a question, including words such as "how", "are", "where", and "is".
  • Breaking news, medical symptoms and product recalls are heavily tilted toward mobile users.
  • While large purchases may start off with mobile searches, there is a clear transition to desktop searches as users carry out more intense research or conduct the actual transaction.
  • In what seems to fly in the face of logic, mobile searches tend to be slightly longer (character length) than desktop. For example, the average desktop search that resulted in a visit to Food & Beverage website is 2.2 words or13.8 characters in length, whereas a mobile search was 2.5 words or 15.5 characters in length.

The report further breaks down some of the main Industries, and we have highlighted the key takeaways below:

Retail

Percentage of searches initiated on mobile with the following retail search themes:

Research Theme Percentage Takeaway
24 hours 82 percent Mobile shoppers want to find out which shops are open.
Engagement Rings 82 percent Top secret purchases, such as engagement rings are more likely to be carried out on a mobile.
Reviews 82 percent Shoppers are seeking information such as reviews in-store.
Layaway 89 percent Poor consumers may only have a mobile device to connect to the internet.
Return Policy 77 percent Counteract buyer's remorse by making information easy to find.
Coupon 77 percent Consumers can be persuaded even after entering the store.

Banking and Finance

Percentage of searches initiated on mobile with the following retail search themes:

Research Theme Percentage Takeaway
ATM 84 percent Consumers that require cash will search on their phone.
30-year mortgage 73 percent Homebuyers will search on their phone for information
Payday Loan 70 percent Low-income consumers frequently use mobile devices.
Interest Rate 65 percent When shopping for the best interest rates or loans, mobile is commonly used.
Car Loan 58 percent Less common on mobile than mortgage searches, but still dominant.
Credit Report 38 percent The later stages of of big purchases are not so common on mobile devices.

Travel

Percentage of searches initiated on mobile with the following retail search themes:

Research Theme Percentage Takeaway
Wait time 93 percent Travelers turn to mobile to find estimated wait times of security queues etc.
Places to eat 88 percent Tourists tend to only have mobile devices available to make searches.
Flights from 66 percent Travellers looking for a destination prefer to browse on mobile.
Flights to 53 percent Once a destination has been chosen, users tend to move to the destop.
Best time to visit 79 percent Early stage travel planning is common on mobile devices.
Exchange rate 34 percent Financial topics tend to be researched more on desktops.

Food and Beverage

Percentage of searches initiated on mobile with the following retail search themes:

Research Theme Percentage Takeaway
Shots 95 percent The Bartender's bible.
Is/Are…? 88 percent Is soy sauce vegan? Quick searches for answers are predominantly mobile.
How to… 82 percent Cooks looking for tips.
Ideas 80 percent Meal inspiration while shopping for food.
Recall 80 percent Food safety concerns can strike at any time.
Calories 79 percent Checking calories before eating.
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