Thursday, May 17, 2012
Convenience & Mobile Ads Rank as Top Drivers of Mobile Phone Shopping Activities, According to Study by IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence

70% of Participants View Mobile Ads as Personal Invitations, Opening Opportunities for Brand Advertisers to Engage Consumers

NEW YORK, NY (May 17, 2012) — The IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence today released “The IAB Mobile Phone Shopping Diaries,” research that unveils that mobile advertising is a key driver of smartphone and feature phone shopping. This is second only to convenience, with survey participants agreeing that the proximity and capabilities of their mobile phone often make it “the easiest way” to carry out a particular shopping activity. This study was conducted by On Device Research, gathering smartphone and feature phone users to create detailed “day in the life” diaries of their mobile phone shopping behavior, followed by participation in an in-depth survey.

When it comes to perceptions about mobile advertising, the majority of respondents (70%) agreed that mobile advertising is a welcome personal invitation from brands, rather than an “invasion.” In addition, half (51%) of those same respondents said they want the mobile ads they click on to allow them to browse the brand or company's broader product offerings.

“Mobile commerce holds tremendous opportunities for brand marketers,” said Anna Bager, Vice President and General Manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB. “The fact that mobile ads are key handset shopping motivators means that digital advertising can be a powerful force in driving this new wave of commerce. Now is the time for the ecosystem to take advantage of this trend, leveraging the platform to its fullest by creating better and more engaging ad experiences that speak to the mobile phone user.”

Linking digital marketing to brick-and-mortar shopping, “The IAB Mobile Phone Shopping Diaries” also offers a snapshot of how mobile users employ their devices during the shopping process:

  • Finding product information (28%)
  • Finding store locations (18%)
  • Comparing prices (12%)
  • Purchasing digital content, such as apps (9%)
  • Purchasing other items, such as physical items and tickets (5%)

Location is also an important factor. Perhaps surprising for mobile phone users, 47 percent of mobile phone shopping actions actually take place in the home, while 29 percent happen on-the-go, and 10 percent occur at work. Searching for products seems to be the main focus while consumers are home (57%), while searching for a store location is the primary usage while out and about (49%). Additionally, 49 percent of home mobile phone shopping actions take place while the user is watching television.

Timing is a consideration as well, with consumers beginning commerce activities on their commute, starting in the early morning, continuing through the day and peaking in late afternoon/early evening.

“The IAB Mobile Phone Shopping Diaries” was released at the IAB Innovation Days @ Internet Week “Screens(n)” conference. To download the entire study, including excerpts from its collection of real world mobile phone commerce diaries, please visit

On Device Research’s U.S. panel contacted 260 respondents, who opted in to take part in a three-stage diary project, lasting a total of two weeks. Respondents were pre-screened on demographics and mobile commerce behaviour to ensure the sample gathered was relevant and responsive. The successful 260 pre-screened respondents were tasked using their mobile to check-in, over a period of one week, whenever they used their mobile phone for commerce. Mobile commerce was described to respondents as: searching for products or services, researching products or services, purchasing/ordering products or services and checking prices. All respondents then completed a follow up survey, which covered a range of topics from mobile commerce spend, mobile usage in store, attitudes towards mobile advertising and how they would like mobile commerce to progress in the future. Each respondent earned $10 for taking part.

About the IAB
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is comprised of more than 500 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States. On behalf of its members, the IAB is dedicated to the growth of the interactive advertising marketplace, of interactive’s share of total marketing spend, and of its members’ share of total marketing spend. The IAB educates marketers, agencies, media companies and the wider business community about the value of interactive advertising. Working with its member companies, the IAB evaluates and recommends standards and practices and fields critical research on interactive advertising. Founded in 1996, the IAB is headquartered in New York City with a Public Policy office in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

IAB Media Contact
Laura Goldberg
[email protected]