Survey says mobile ads open doors to shopping trips

Store visits jump 80% the first day a retailer runs a mobile ad

Alongside clearance sales, free giveaways and celebrity appearances, mobile ads might be assuming a place in the pantheon of top traffic-builders at retail. The 2015 "Mobile Audience Insights Report," released today by NinthDecimal, found that store visits shot up 80% during the first day a mobile ad was run by a retailer, then trailed off to 18% above average the next day before settling back to normal on day three.

The mobile intelligence company's portrait of mobile marketing in 2014 drew on surveys of 1,500-plus consumer and internal data during the final three quarters — and much changed during just that time. Between Q2 and Q4 of last year, the average time a consumer spent with a mobile ad increased more than five seconds to nearly 29 seconds. Certain verticals (see below) blew that number out of the water: Entertainment companies averaged nearly 47 seconds and retailers clocked in at just over 38 seconds.

Engaging with rich media and videos on larger screen phones was the most likely cause behind these impressive stats. More than half (51%) of mobile ads served in 2014 contained rich media and 17% used video. In 2013, rich media and video ads combined amounted to only 52%. Marketers' creative abilities also appear to be on the rise, with mobile video ad completion rates rising 31% between Q3 and Q4.

NinthDecimal's report confirms previous studies pointing to huge upticks in retail activity in the channel. Some 54% of consumers shopped on phones and tablets before making purchases last year, and 35% of them consummated the deal on the device. That compares with only 34% and 23%, respectively, in 2013. Just 18% of mobile shoppers made their purchases on laptops in ‘14, according to the study.

Tech enthusiasts were the audience segment most coveted by programmatic buyers — targets of 48% of mobile ads serviced. The next most popular segment characteristics were, in order, ethnicity (25%), fast food consumers (12%), and car shoppers (7%).

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