Magazine article CRM Magazine

Social, Local, Mobile Transcend Business Searches: Consumers Increasingly Search for Local Businesses on Mobile Devices

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Social, Local, Mobile Transcend Business Searches: Consumers Increasingly Search for Local Businesses on Mobile Devices

Article excerpt

Consumers who access the Internet from their mobile devices to search for local businesses are more likely to go into retail stores and make purchases, according to research from Neustar, a provider of real-time information and analysis.

In fact, local business searchers using their smartphones are likely to buy something as a result of their searches 77 percent of the time. For tablet users, the odds were slightly higher--at 78 percent--and skewed toward more expensive purchases.

Neustar further reports that the total number of visitors to search navigation sites via mobile phones has jumped by more than 25 percent, from 90.1 million in March 2012 to 113.1 million in December 2012. Growth was at 19 percent for tablet users during the same time period.

In fact, business searches are the number one activity for which consumers use their smartphone browsers, according to the research.

Nearly 86 million people in the United States alone now seek local business information on their mobile phones, and 56 percent of those who use search sites primarily to get local business information do so on a weekly basis across all devices, the research found.

Additionally, application-based local searches nearly doubled in the past two years, significantly outpacing text messaging and browsers.

This is happening not only because more smartphones and tablets are in circulation, but also because more people are using those devices to conduct searches, and they're spending more time on each search because there is so much information readily available, explains Brian Wool, vice president of content distribution at Neustar.

Additionally, application-based local searches nearly doubled in the past two years, significantly outpacing text messaging. Use of text services--where a user sends a text message with his current location and the type of business he wants to find to a service provider that sends back lists of applicable businesses--increased from 10.5 percent in December 2010 to 16 percent just two years later. Mobile search app usage increased by 87 percent during the same time, and makes up 54.4 percent of all searches today, up from 29 percent in December 2010.

"There's been a real explosion in the number of apps in general, but specifically in local search apps," Wool says.

Another change is in the types of apps available. "A few years ago, there were very general search apps, like MapQuest, where everyone would go," Wool says. …

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