Global Perspectives: The Mobile Movement in the UK

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | 11:51 AM

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Updated report links 8/10/11

Today our Global Perspectives series focuses on the extraordinary growth of smartphone usage in the UK mobile marketplace and what this tells us about the current state of mobile advertising.  At our recent Think Mobile event in London we shared some of the findings from our research into the mobile market.  Here for the first time we share the in-depth results, including a video and report as well as the latest AdMob data on the UK.  

AdMob activity shows UK mobile market booming
The AdMob network, that includes over 89,000 websites and apps worldwide, provides insight into the current trends on UK mobile usage. We see that over the past year the uptake of smartphones in the UK has been quite staggering. According to figures from ComScore, Smartphone ownership was up 58% year-on-year to 36% of the UK. With the AdMob network recording over 100 million ad requests a day and over 3 billion ad requests each month, the UK display ads market is clearly in the rudest of health.

So what are people in the UK using their smartphones for?
Our research into uk consumers’ mobile activities shows that many are using their smartphones to discover  information with, for example, 76% having browsed the internet; 52% in the last week.  They’re also in the habit of using their smartphones at the same time that they’re using other media, including TV:  53% of people in the UK use their smartphone while also watching TV programmes.  

Purchase driven shoppers 
45% of UK smartphone owners use it to help with shopping, 28% use them to look for inspiration while shopping and 15% use a phone to evaluate products while shopping. Smartphone research frequently leads to sales either on the phone, in-store or via desktop PC as the chart below shows.

Local information seekers
UK smartphone users are most interested in what’s in their our own backyards; 81% of the time they’re looking for local information when they search, while 80% have reached out to a local business after a search on their phone with a third of these going on to purchase.

Reaching the mobile user
Our research shows that 87% of people notice mobile ads and 28% of people have taken action after seeing a mobile ad. Of those, 16% make a purchase in a shop, 20% buy on a computer and 9% complete a transaction via mobile phone.

What next?
When it comes to mobile advertising and commerce, it seems that there’s still plenty of room for growth and development.  Our research found that 83% of top advertisers in Britain don’t have a mobile-optimised site. Clearly, it’s still not too late to be early in mobile.  

Keen to learn more about the state of mobile in the UK? Watch our new video on the mobile movement in the UK here, download the report here  or if you missed our Think Mobile UK event,  check out Ian Carrington of Google presenting some of the research highlights here.

Posted by Matt Brocklehurst, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads UK