Consumers increasingly turn to their mobile phones for searches, store visits, and purchases engaging with a seamless overlay of real and virtual mobile-optimized shopping experience. Mobile search is always on, — on the go, at home, in-store, and at work, and through a mobile web browser, in-app access, or voice commands. As the consumer purchase cycle on mobile devices, — from browsing to researching to buying, — becomes more consistent, conversion rates and mobile cost-per-click (CPC) will go up. In the future advertisers will generate more search revenue from mobile devices if they monetize search activities and growth in personalized consumer engagement continuously. At the same time, top US retailers are turning to optimizing mobile browsers and apps for a better search and purchase experience for users, to boost mCommerce.

Our recently published Forrester Research Search Engine Marketing Forecast, 2015 To 2020 (US), Q4 2015 Update, includes market predictions for and shifts in paid search volumes and spending patterns caused by consumers’ preferred device usage patterns. Here are some of our findings: 

  • Recent surveys show that more Internet searchers are using mobile. More than half of all Internet searchers also searched on their mobile devices this year. Correspondingly, the volume of search queries on mobile devices will overtake that on desktops this year and will continue double-digit growth over the next five years. Similarly, we expect paid search advertising to grow at a double-digit five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for smartphones and tablets through 2020.
  • A near-term challenge for marketers is allocating their search advertising budget across various channels. Geo-positioning and ‘near-me’ searches are going to be valuable for marketers as they will be able to charge more for search placement. Enhanced CPCs and multiple bid adjustment options will help monetize the increasing mobile search volumes. Consumer-specific targeting based on mobile web or in-app browsing behavior will provide advertisers with great opportunities for consumer engagement and conversion. PC paid search spending will gradually decrease through 2020 due to this shift to mobile, and it will have a lessened share of total search spending on all device types.

Do you think smartphones will be a shopper’s Swiss Army Knife and provide marketers with a golden opportunity in the future? To learn more, ForecastView clients can read the Forrester Research Search Engine Marketing Forecast, 2015 To 2020 (US), Q4 2015 Update.