A report from Google and Ipsos suggests that consumers move between multiple screens when researching purchases on the web. More than 80 percent of Americans access the web for general browsing from more than one device, and 67 percent turn to laptops as well as smartphones and tablets specifically to research purchases.

According to the study, most prefer to make purchases in person or on a desktop or laptop computer, using mobile devices solely for research. Still, developing site content that allows prospects to read about a product or service from their smartphones before converting in store or from their computers can help companies offer users a better overall shopping experience.

Other tasks consumers use multiple screens for include managing finances (46 percent) and planning trips (43 percent). In terms of online shopping, a strong presence on the mobile web allows marketers to take advantage of the growing trend of impulse online shopping. Google and Ipsos found that 81 percent of purchase decision research on the web is spontaneous, with just 19 percent of this activity planned. Essentially, consumers enjoy the ability to turn to their handsets to find information quickly and research the best values.

Defining the amount of time on the mobile web solely dedicated to shopping is difficult, but the report found that 38 percent of all media consumption stems from smartphones. As this figure increases, companies must ensure that consumers can access their websites and other aspects of their web presences from smartphones, tablets and all internet-enabled mobile devices.

Other data suggests companies dependent upon ecommerce have started working a mobile presence into their overall strategy. A report from Martini Media and Digiday found that 68 percent of luxury marketers plan to increase their use of the mobile web for marketing moving forward. While these organizations utilize multiple formats and channels, emphasis on mobile is important as prospects increasingly look for information that helps them learn more about brands they may buy from.

Google has announced a series of features developed solely with the intent of making the mobile web experience as similar to desktop browsing as possible. Brafton recently highlighted the addition of icons on mobile SERPs that direct users to sites optimized for mobile access, which makes it important for marketers to consider mobile searchers if they want to catch SEO clicks.