July 26, 2016, 2:36 PM

56% of online retail searches take place on mobile devices

Smartphone and tablets dominate retail search queries for location-specific keywords, such as “where to buy” and “24 hours.”

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The majority of online retail searches are made by consumers on their mobile devices, according to a new study from web measurement firm Hitwise, a division of Connexity Inc. 

56% of online retail searches are made on a smartphone or tablet, according to the study, which looked at hundreds of thousands online search queries across 3.5 million smartphones and tablets between April 10-May 7 and made by consumers based in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Hitwise considers smartphones and tablets as mobile devices.

When looking at specific keywords retail consumers search, location-based retail searches are the mostly made on mobile devices, according to the study. 82% of searches that include the words “24 hours” are made on mobile devices. Other mobile-dominated location keywords include “where to buy …” (84% mobile), “near me” (79% mobile) and “hours” (82% mobile). 

Many retail mobile search queries occur while consumers are in a physical store, according to the study. 77% of retail searches that mention the words “coupon,” “return policy” and “price match” are made on a mobile device.

“Especially for traditional brick-and-mortar establishments, the smartphone has become an indispensable shopping tool providing consumers—sometimes within feet of a register—with information or offers that could seal or jeopardize a transaction," says John Fetto, senior analyst, research and marketing, at Hitwise.

73% of searches with the words “sale” and 68% of “discount” searches are made on a mobile device, according to the study. However, 59% of searches that include “promo code” are made on a desktop.

In addition, 82% of retail searches with the word “reviews” are made on a smartphone or tablet, and 82% of searches for “engagement rings” are made on a mobile device.

While more than half of retail searches are made on mobile devices, mobile devices’ share of overall search is lower than many other industries, such as food and beverage, in which 72% of searches are made on a mobile device. Other verticals with higher mobile search queries include health (68% of searches are mobile,) sports (68%), news and media (64%), lifestyle (62%) and automotive (62%). 

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