Mobile advertising and m-commerce have benefitted from the introduction of 4G according to Orange Exposure 2013/14 research

By Gillian West | Social media manager

November 29, 2013 | 4 min read

4G coverage has sparked an increase in m-commerce, content consumption and an improved perception of mobile advertising according to early insights gained through Orange Exposure 2013/14 research.

The annual independent survey by TNS into media habits across the UK, France and Spain, this year takes a look at the impact of 4G networks on consumer behaviour exploring the increasingly digitised ‘path to purchase’ for the first time.

Fuelled by faster download speeds and greater bandwith, 4G users were found to be consuming more content than ever before, with 30 per cent of UK 4G users regularly downloading videogames, compared with 17 per cent of their 3G counterparts.

Additionally 4G has increased m-commerce with 53 per cent of 4G users paying for something using their mobile phone in the last six months, compared with 34 per cent of 3G mobile multimedia users.

Mobile advertising has also benefitted from 4G’s faster loading times and greater bandwith with mobile users having a more favourable perception of it. 4G users in Spain indicated a greater acceptance for advertising and a better perception of it than their 3G counterparts. They also responded more favourably to different advertising formats with UK 4G users giving sponsored games a score of 4.9 (out of 10) compared with 3.8 for ordinary mobile users.

“This year’s findings provide early evidence that faster speeds and greatly improved bandwidth have indeed shaken up how people are using their mobile – making it more central to their lives than ever before,” said Jean-Marie Culpin, head of marketing and customer intimacy, Orange.

This year’s research finds mobile to be the most pivotal element in the purchasing funnel, with consumer increasingly turning to their mobile first when looking to research products, compare prices, and ultimately make purchases. For the high tech segment 25 per cent of mobile users gravitated towards their mobile device first during the research phase. Mobile devices appear to be a strong driver towards further research on other devices, with 18 per cent of UK users initially using their mobile to check information before conducting deeper research on another device.

Unsurprisingly mobile was revealed as the main facilitator for ‘showrooming’ behaviours in all three countries, with 12 per cent of UK respondents confirming that they ‘showroomed’ on mobile before purchasing.

Take out advice for advertisers would be to grasp mobile’s role within purchasing decisions, capturing attention early in the customer journey. Advertisers could also consider leveraging mobile to gain control over showrooming, working with retailers to boost connectivity with free Wi-Fi and offering landing pages demonstrating their products as well as offer discounts.

Product type, sector and culture impact the way consumers behave and interact with the various touch points on the path to purchase, with the findings revealing that advertisers should seek the ideal balance between paid, owned and earned media channels to reach consumers effectively.

Ruairi McNally, senior account director of Google Chrome at Essence, added: “The consumer's purchase journey has become increasingly fragmented and complex; yet the behaviour in each segment has become more distinct. The report highlights useful insights and opportunities for brands to strengthen relationships, and engage, with consumers.”

Paid for media was particularly effecting for high tech and entertainment purchasing decisions, Spanish consumers across all sectors appeared to respond well to earned media. Further cultural differences were noted in the findings with an average of 57 per cent of all purchases, across all sectors taking place online in the UK and France, whereas Spanish customers preferred to visit the physical store to make the actual purchase. Research length also different across the countries, with UK respondents searching less than their French and Spanish counterparts.

Fieldwork conducted by TNS on behalf of Orange in UK, France and Spain. Calibration phase consisted of 2000 face-to-face interviews in each country. Main research conducted online with 1000 mobile media users.

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