Thursday, April 26, 2012 | 11:00 AM
Consumers are in love with their smartphones. They used them for entertainment during the Super Bowl. They used them to find a restaurant on Valentine’s Day. But for their taxes?
Millions of consumers used their mobile phone to conduct tax related searches this year. In fact, tax related searches on mobile devices jumped by 206% year over year, outpacing growth in computer queries by nearly 20x. While this certainly reveals substantial mobile opportunity for businesses in the finance industry, it is indicative of the monumental shift in consumer behavior that mobile is driving.
As seen in this graph, tax related searches coming from mobile devices extended across a three month period every year, showing that consumers used their mobile device at all stages of their tax preparation and filing process. At the end of January we see a huge spike in searches as consumers received their W-2 forms and used their mobile phones to find local or online tax filing services, download tax documents or even file their tax return early. Towards the end of the tax period another large spike in search volume signals a flurry of activity as people struggle to get their taxes filed by the April 17th deadline.
This year many consumers went a step further and completed their entire tax filing process on their mobile device. As one of the most complex and dreaded of human tasks, tax filing is certainly not an activity that intuitively lends itself to mobile devices. However, TurboTax identified this shift in mobile consumer behavior and created the easy to use SnapTax app, which allowed people to file their taxes on their phone by snapping a picture of their W-2 form. TurboTax then drove awareness and downloads for SnapTax by advertising the easy-to-use app across smartphone devices.
Posted by: Adam Grunewald, Google Mobile Ads Product Marketing