July 21, 2011, 10:44 AM

With more consumers toting tablets, mobile searches rise

Mobile paid search traffic is 12% of all paid search impressions, Perfomics says.

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Mobile devices are increasingly a part of the everyday shopping experience for many consumers. And those consumers are searching for products, which is why mobile devices accounted for approximately 12% of all paid search impressions in the second quarter, says Performics, an online marketing firm.

And since Google Inc. began tracking mobile search impressions made with tablets June 1, tablets have accounted for 1.7% of all paid search impressions, Performics says. Tablets, such as Apple Inc.’s iPad, had previously been included with traffic from mobile phones and other portable devices.

“This continuing evolution is shedding light on the importance of the mobile space to any marketer,” says Daina Middleton, Performics CEO. “The big thing is we’re starting to see the tablet as a legitimate channel in and of itself.”

Data about how consumers use mobile devices to shop are vital to retailers because the number of consumers using mobile devices to shop is booming, says James Beveridge, senior analyst at Performics.

And while searches made with desktop computers still dominate, the demographics of the consumers who use mobile devices put those shoppers squarely in the prime target zone for many merchants. A recent Google study found that about 64% of iPad owners are less than 44 years old and 61% are male. “You have fairly young, male, affluent consumers who are shopping friendly,” Beveridge says. “They’re very attractive to marketers.”

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