Desktop search still preferred over mobile

by Stratton Craig

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According to new research from the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), users opt for search engine apps on their mobile devices rather than branded apps when they want to find out more about a product or a service. In fact, more than two in three consumers go for search engine apps, whereas 37% choose branded apps for their research.

However, despite the growing popularity of mobile devices and the fact that more than half of UK consumers own a smartphone, the majority of consumers (60%) still prefer to research online via a desktop computer, compared to 15% who would rather conduct their research on a mobile device.

The report, based on data from 1,000 UK consumers, reveals that half of those polled cite finding deals and offers as the primary reason for using mobile devices for search, whereas 40% use their smartphones for searching for information about specific brands. Just over a quarter of respondents use their devices to find a place to eat, the DMA report shows.

When asked about what brands they most frequently research on mobile, 30% of consumers say they search for information on high-street retailers, 29% on local restaurants and hotels and 26% research supermarkets.

Commenting on the findings, Richard Hicks of the DMA's Mobile Marketing Council says that while the industry has been expecting that mobile search will eventually replace desktop search, the report shows that this is happening at a slower pace than anticipated. Still, smartphones have come to play a prominent role in consumers´ lives and the research helps marketers understand how and why consumers are using smartphones to search for information online, he concludes.

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