Canadians have a new trusted advisor: their mobile devices. We call upon them in the moments when we want to make decisions. New Google research finds the over 40% of our searches are conducted with specific intent and the brands that are ready when we're curious will have a unique business advantage.

Written by
Andrew Assad , Elizabeth Pingle
August 2015

Smartphones have a wide variety of tools and applications to help pass the time, but when Canadians tap on their search bar, they are often doing so with the intent of completing an action. In fact, our research has found that 41%1 of mobile searches are conducted with a specific intent such as making a purchase or finding a store's nearest location.

How mobile search drives valuable outcomes

While Canadians may address their needs in-store or on another platform, the path to a conversion often begins on a mobile device, the moment a need is identified. In fact, 37% of all mobile searches lead to a conversion, though not all of those conversions take place on mobile.


Our research has found that when consumers conduct purposeful searches on a mobile device, the most common outcomes are visiting a retailer's website (24%), visiting a store (10%), making a purchase (9%), calling a business (5%), or downloading something (3%).1 As a result of this sometimes indirect journey from smartphone search query to action, Google provides a path to purchase tool that helps brands calculate how mobile searches drive in-store sales.

Why mobile is a great platform for purposeful searches

The unique functionality of the smartphone allows users to address their needs immediately. While basic information such as store hours and location can be readily found on other platforms, smartphones enable users to act the moment a need is identified, find solutions based on their location, and even make calls with the tap of a finger.

Conversion rates by industry

Our research has found about 37% of mobile searches result in conversions, be it visiting a retailer's website, going to a store, making a purchase, calling a business, or downloading something. These conversions, however, can vary depending on the nature of the search and the type of search.1

Here we've outlined the average conversion rate by industry:


Why brands need to anticipate purposeful searches

Whether consumers are searching for store hours or a business's phone number, looking to book an appointment or wanting to book a test drive, they conduct searches on their smartphones with a purpose the very moment a need arises. No matter if they make the purchase online or in-store, conducting a search on their mobile phone is an increasingly common part of the shopping journey.

Marketers need to identify the queries that lead consumers to their brands' mobile sites, and provide them with convenient solutions. This allows businesses to drive online and in-store sales, improve the relationships between consumers and brands, and win over consumers in these specific moments.

Learn more with our "How Canadians Use Mobile Search" research to get insights about how your brand can take advantage of the growth in mobile search.

1 Google Canada/Nielsen, "Mobile Search Moments Canada Study," March 2015.