While marketers must keep mobile SEO in mind as device adoption rises, a survey finds consumers still prefer to convert offline.

Marketers know they must optimize their websites for mobile search. Brafton reported that smartphone adoption passed the halfway mark in the United States last year, and the International Data Corporation (IDC) recently predicted tablet shipments will hit 229.3 million units in 2013, surpassing laptops for the first time. While there is a dramatic shift toward mobile device use, marketers should not abandon their existing content marketing strategies.

A recent Kentico survey revealed that customers’ paths to purchase may have changed, but their conversion preferences remain the same. While 85 percent of smartphone users enter the sales funnel online, researching brands’ products and services on mobile devices, 63 percent would rather complete the sales cycle in stores.

“Our survey suggests that while shoppers like the convenience of shopping online via mobile devices, they still want as much of an in-store experience as possible,” said Kentico CEO and Founder Petr Palas.

63 percent would rather complete the sales cycle in stores.

How can marketers make sure their target audiences decide to convert upon visiting their mobile sites? Kentico respondents echo a sentiment shared by Google’s Search Engineer Matt Cutts – make them pretty and user-friendly. More than three-fourths of tablet and smartphone users said their decisions to buy are heavily influenced by the look and feel of brands’ digital content. The same is true for over two-thirds of surveyed laptop users.

Brands must consider online content as an essential part of their overarching marketing strategies, which seamlessly carry prospects from one channel to the next and nurture leads along the way. When companies create effective cross-channel experiences, they begin online conversations that become in-store sales down the line.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.