Mobile_body.jpgby Jennifer Shaheen.

The amount of time people spend on their mobile devices daily now surpasses the amount of time they spend watching television, according to a recent report from Flurry, a marketing agency which specializes in apps and mobile advertising. Users devote an average of two hours and 57 minutes to their smartphones and tablets every day.

Mobile commerce is booming.

What are mobile users doing for all that time? While social media, email and game playing top the list of favorite activities, there’s no arguing the fact that mobile users are doing a lot of shopping. Tech Crunch reports that 12 percent of last year’s holiday retail sales took place via a mobile device, with Amazon Prime members making six out of every 10 of their purchases via smartphone or tablet.

Smartphones are outpacing tablets as the mobile device of choice.

More than 6 billion smartphones are expected to be in use by the year 2020. Ninth Decimal, a mobile advertising company, has tracked how customers are using mobile devices to research purchases. They’ve found tremendous growth in the use of smartphones for research: there has been a 110 percent increase in number of customers who research retail purchases since 2013. During the same period, the use of tablets to research purchases dropped over 20 percent.

Mobile_PQ.jpgMobile advertising is more effective on smartphones – especially when geo-targeting is involved.

In the same report, Ninth Decimal shared their data on mobile advertising. They found that over 40 percent of customers made a purchase on their mobile device after seeing an advertisement for the item. This was only true for 19 percent of tablet users. Geo-targeting is a powerful strategy for reaching the mobile consumer: ad conversion rates climbed 20 percent when a location is included. Consumers exposed to mobile ads reported visiting stores 65 percent more times than consumers in a control group, who were not exposed to those ads.

Customers buy on the platform where they do their research.

The price of an item or service determines how long a customer will devote to researching a purchase before taking action. If the price tag is less than $50, customers researched 10 days or less, while a purchase that required $1,000 results in an average of 45 days spent researching. While customers would use multiple channels to do this research, it appears that they tend to favor the channel they use most to ultimately make the purchase. In other words, Ninth Decimal says, if a shopper does most of their research in a store, they will buy in that brick and mortar location. If they’re doing the majority of their research online, they will be a mobile buyer.