4 Pillars of Consumer and Advertiser Behavior in Retail Mobile Advertising

Approximately 100 million tablets and smartphones are in the marketplace. As more and more of these devices get into the hands of consumers the way in which search market evolves for both consumers and brands is critical.

For consumers, this space will evolve their device of choice for various locations; desktop for work, tablet for home, smartphone for in-store. Each one of these use cases creates a unique opportunity and challenge for brands that need to measure strict ROI, but also need to be found by consumers.

Creating an experience that delivers upon the consumer expectations and delivers strong results is a common problem for retailers. But this isn’t yet an evolved space with a standard solution. Here are four truths in our data that will help retailers create a connected devices marketing roadmap.

1. Consumers Respond Differently Based on Their Device Choice

When thinking about response rates, click-through rate is the best indicator of how consumers are responding to ads. Our data shows that mobile search ads have the highest CTR by >20 percent. This is due to two factors:

  • Limited number of paid search ads available via mobile phone.
  • Increased applicable calls to action, call, map, click.

The consumer behavior and experience is very similar for tablets and desktop, as these experiences have many similarities.

  • Action: Incorporate all touch points of mobile (maps, call, click) to increase CTRs, and meet consumer expectations.
  • Risk: Not delivering a positive customer experience that meets expectations, and feeds long term satisfaction.


2. Consumers Search Differently Based on Device Types

When consumers use different devices the user experience dictates the types of words that are searched. Having access to an actual keyboard makes it much easier to type longer keywords, in addition to not having GPS functionality to localize the search. Tablets show to have the shortest keyword queries entered. With no keyboard, and it being slightly more difficult to type Google Instant comes into play, and steers consumers towards shorter queries.

  • Action: Conduct mobile specific keyword research to ensure you take advantage of the various consumer experiences and needs.
  • Risk: Aggregating results at a level that doesn’t help identify key optimization opportunities.


3. Costs for Consumer Traffic Varies Based on the Likelihood to Convert Online

The marketplace, competition, and conversion rates are much more established in the desktop environment. Therefore, the cost per click is two times our retailer data set. I think this will change over time as the market evolves, and brands understand how to value traffic on mobile devices which aren’t as conversion oriented, but just as valuable.

  • Action: Create unique campaigns that uniquely targets desktop, tablets, and mobile devices to ensure your bidding strategies align with the differences.
  • Risk: By not setting up campaigns to track at this level, brands will miss the opportunity to maximize efficiency, and minimize cost.

4. Less Than Half of Brands Have Built Mobile Specific Landing Pages

When thinking about the consumer experience, brands are using a mobile specific landing page only 42 percent of the time for keywords we researched. This indicates that a majority of brands don’t have a mobile specific strategy in place that is fully developed.

This will no doubt change over time, but leaves a lot of opportunity for brands to speak to their consumers which understanding the context in which they are seeking brand information. Macy’s is a good example of a brand that supports their offer, makes it easy to search, and find a store all without scrolling.


  • Advice: Create a mobile specific landing page the delivers on consumer expectations when using a mobile device, click, call, or maps.
  • Risk: An experience that doesn’t use the full and proper capabilities of the specific device.

The evolution of devices and consumer penetration of those devices is far from over. However, we’re at a tipping point where those first in market, and that understand these four truths, will be able to set themselves apart in the new retail digital ecosystem.

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