The point of most return: Out of home mobile searches are more likely to get consumers buying

Study reveals mobile searches conducted in out of home locations are 38% more likely to lead to a purchase compared to homebound mobile searches.

Out of home (OOH) mobile searches are 38% more successful in encouraging consumers to make a purchase than ones made at home, says new research.

“The Point of Search” report, by Clear Channel UK, JCDecaux and Pesterscope, found that people who spend more time out of their homes search 58% more on their smartphones and across a more diverse range of products and services than those who spend less time out of home.

Additionally, when an OOH advertising campaign features a location call out, 62% of people feel more inclined to search for a product or service.

Lindsay Rapacchi, Research & Insight Director at Clear Channel UK, said: “Les Binet recently demonstrated that increases in share of search lead to increases in market share. Thanks to this new research collaboration, we also know that a huge volume of search takes place in OOH environments – clearly a target location for any brand wishing to grab hold of their share of search as and when it happens.”

Mark Bucknell, Chief Commercial Officer at JCDecaux UK added: “OOH advertising has been shown to amplify engagement with digital online and this new ‘Point of Search’ insight shows the powerful effect it has on search, prompting people to purchase when they are outside the home.

“With 83% of people now visiting a city every month and the increased investment in digital out of home (DOOH) across the biggest UK cities, the opportunities for brands to get the best from the public and private screen grows ever stronger.”

The study explored why people search, where they search, how the specific factors of the OOH space encourage search and sales, and how to optimise OOH advertising to maximise the search effect.

To identify these factors, the research was broken into three stages – the anatomy of search, point of search and how to optimise OOH media to drive search.

Anatomy of Search

The’ anatomy of search’ stage explored how consumers' needs are reflected in their search behaviours. It found the more time consumers spend OOH, the more often they search across different categories, and their OOH searches span a wider range of search typologies, need states and motivations than those searches conducted in home.

Point of Search

A bespoke online search diary completed by over 1,000 people created an in-depth database of almost 10,000 mobile searches by tracking search activity over seven days. This was to determine how search differs when conducted in “OOH Locations” versus “At Home”.

It found that OOH mobile searches have a wider variety of triggers, are more likely to take place during the working week, are spread over a wider timeframe and often are conducted in the company of other people.

Common OOH triggers included a need to find a location or address and exposure to a variety of smells, sites and sounds than those found at home, alongside the discovery that people are more impulsive and open to inspiration when out of home.

How to optimise OOH media to drive search

The final research stage looked at all forms of OOH media, from traditional billboards to digital adverts, to identify how it can best be maximised to encourage searches and ultimately purchases from consumers.

Findings revealed that by tailoring messages to peoples’ needs and motivations, by using specific creative messages, elements and dynamic DOOH advertising will best optimise consumers’ propensity for performing mobile searches. The report’s findings indicated creative messaging and optimising DOOH adverts to expose consumers to dynamic and relevant messages, like for location, weather and time, will help encourage consumers to search.

It reaffirmed the importance of understanding that people’s mobile searches are a product of their needs.

“Combining creativity, technology and data can really supercharge growth for brands”

Chris Forrester, Director of Commercial for Outdoor at Global said: “The results of this groundbreaking, collaborative study will arm marketeers, media planners and brands with evidence-based research that demonstrates both the effectiveness of outdoor media, and how it can be optimised to drive audience behaviour. It provides unequivocal proof that combining creativity, technology and data can really supercharge growth for brands.”

Russell Smither, Head of Research and Insight at Posterscope concluded: “Consumers are also encouraged to search in response to what they are doing, the environment around them and by the many attributes of the OOH medium. This provides a great opportunity for advertisers to optimise their OOH media planning for even more effective results.”