Almost a third of smartphone users regularly need to call a business directly when searching for information on their mobiles, Google research on click-to-call services has revealed.
The study, commissioned by the tech giant and carried out by Ipsos, found that of the 1,500 respondents who took part, a substantial 94 per cent had at some point needed to speak to a person directly when they picked up their smartphone to find out more information about a product or service. Forty-two per cent said they had used the click-to-call function when available to them.
Online shoppers found the service particularly important, with nearly half (48 per cent) considering it extremely important to be able to call a business before completing a buy, while 36 per cent said they’d like to speak directly to someone when at the research stage on an item or service.
Ian Carrington, director of performance solutions and innovation at Google, said: “Globally, we know that 40 million calls are driven by Google Ads each month so it’s fair to say that click-to-call is a clear sales driver.
“Moreover, for businesses that haven’t yet built a responsive or mobile site, click-to-call is a great way to ensure consumers can still reach your business easily, showing that mobile advertising doesn’t just have to be for the mobile-ready.”
The study suggested that brands risked damaging their brand image if they failed to offer the service as an option, with 36 per cent of respondents saying they would be more likely to explore other brands, 32 per cent saying they found it frustrating and 30 per cent saying they would feel disappointed in a brand.
Research released in May suggested that smartphone shopper conversion rates could be up to three times higher when telephone call follow-up purchases were taken into account.