Mobile ads boost physical store visits by 80 percent in first day of viewing

A new study from San Francisco-based mobile intelligence firm NinthDecimal, discussed on VentureBeat shows that mobile ads on smartphones and tablets are having a big effect — and its impact is growing. Marketers have always wondered about the effectiveness of mobile advertising, this report unveils some potential game-changers for physical stores and for the future of mobile shopping.

This helps illuminate one of digital marketing’s blind spots: the connection between digital ads and real-world behavior. It’s also an area where NinthDecimal, which specializes in connecting online and offline data for campaign targeting, has more than a little skin in the game.

The report’s results show that the impact of mobile ads on physical stores differed by industry and distance. Mobile ads for retailers, for instance, have the best results in driving foot traffic when they were viewed two to five miles of that related store, 24 percent better than average traffic.

Besides the effect of mobile ads on driving foot traffic, the report also indicates that a common wisdom — people use larger screen desktop and laptop computers for making a purchase — may be changing.

Mobile is “having a bigger impact earlier in the product discovery,” with 54 percent of respondents saying they use their mobile devices to shop for products before arriving at a purchase decision, regardless of what means they employ to make the buy. This is an increase of nearly 60 percent over responses to the same question a year earlier.

NinthDecimal's report shows an increasing use of mobile for shopping

And 35 percent of that 54 percent said they made their purchases directly on mobile devices, an increase of 12 percent over the previous year. Forty-seven percent still like buying in a physical store, but the trend is clear.

As with the growing effectiveness of in-app ads for driving foot traffic and the increased popularity of mobile browsing and shopping, rich media ads are likely a reflection of a wider availability of high-speed mobile connections, larger screens, and an increasingly mobile-centric and media-aware market.

Mobile ad makers are getting better at their craft, enticing users with content and bonuses such that video completion rates — the percentage of users watching a video ad to its end — is up by nearly a third.

Fifty-seven percent of advertisers are now providing offers with their in-app ads, per the report. So it may be no surprise that users are spending 5.2 seconds longer on mobile ads than they did a year ago.

See the full report from Venture Beat here