What do mobile phone consumers look at before a purchase?


What do mobile phone consumers look at before a purchase?

Mobile phone consumers are among the most information-driven of customers – so are mobile phone retailers helping customers to buy with the information that matters?

As customer reviews and variable satisfaction levels illustrate, not all mobile phone retailers spend time understanding the consumer’s desires, needs and requirements.

Data from Google reveals the top reasons why a customer may want a new phone:

new mobile phone

Why do consumers want a new mobile phone? Source: Google

Consumers want more than just the latest and best phone. With 42% exploring a change simply because an upgrade is possible, there is significant scope to influence the mobile phone option they go for – providing the deal is the right fit for their needs.

One way to determine needs is to understand the volume of search traffic around some of the key differentiation points for different mobile phones and calling plans, including but not limited to –

  • Data consumption allowance
  • Monthly fee
  • Phone specifications (memory)
  • Inclusive minutes and texts
  • Camera resolution
  • Operating system

There are other factors but search engine queries related to these queries are mostly the secondary key factors before a purchase.

This means that retailers must be on their toes in answering questions about these topics if there are particularly profitable phones they wish to promote.

A mobile phone is frequently a considered purchase as  most phones will stay with the consumer for two years on average.

So how does the average mobile phone consumer weigh up their options? Google reported:

switching mobile phone

Shoppers are often undecided on the phone and network. Source: Google.

With the internet being the leading resource of information-gathering:

Mobile phone research

The vast majority of people do their research into new phones online. Source: Google.

So what does the mobile phone consumer do before purchase?

Mobile phone networks and model research.

When and where do people do their research? Source: Google.

These are the windows of opportunity for retailers to intercept traffic, answer key questions and make relevant suggestions – but even when visiting retail stores consumers are still looking for the best deal online.

Mobile phone prices

The price has to be right for the consumer. Source: Google.

In-store deals must therefore inspire confidence – an online fact check is only a click away.

It’s worth noting that mobile phones are no longer just tools – they are status symbols that have their own desirability as a lifestyle product.

It’s of little surprise then that video marketing is a leading resource for mobile phone retailers,. Put simply, shoppers who view video ad’s become a qualified prospect quicker:

mobile video advertising

The importance of video advertising is plain and simple for mobile phone companies. Source: Google.


As with all considered purchases there are multiple stages during the purchasing cycle, the mobile phone consumer craves a deal and ensuring the right information is on your website will help retain the consumer and keep your brand in their mind.

Mobile phone retailers must be like the invisible but ever-present concierge, ready to answer questions and stir up interest in phones as desirable products that a customer will spend a lot of time with.

While the online realm presents challenges given the scale of competition in the mobile phone retail sector, it also provides opportunities to impress. As ever, customer insight is the key to retail success.


Want to know more about our work in the mobile phone industry? Read our Case Study from our work with MobilePhonesDirect.


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