Mobile is Driving Local Search

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 12 Mar, 2015

Mobile devices are driving local searches according to a new study from the Local Search Association (LSA).

In fact, the '"Mobile Fanatics" - How Mobile is Transforming Local Shopping' study shows that 60 percent of U.S. adults typically choose smartphones or tablets over PCs to find information before purchasing products and services online. This data signals a shift in consumers' local search habits. For instance, the study found that heavy mobile users conduct at least 10 searches per week on at least two devices from multiple locations.

"'Mobile Fanatics' are a new and growing consumer segment. Understanding where and how these consumers find information is critical to make sense out of the new path to purchase," said Neg Norton, president at LSA. "Mobile Fanatics are 'always shopping' and considering products no matter their location, allowing them to be reached anytime and anywhere. The challenge becomes delivering relevant and engaging content when they pick up their devices." 

It is important to note that the study found a 9 percent decrease from 2014 when it comes to people who use a desktop PC or laptop to look for local information. This highlights that the consumer path to purchase is no longer linear, and marketers need to adjust their strategies to reach consumers when they are ready to purchase.

"We are past the tipping point with mobile usage. Consumers are no longer tied to a desktop PC," said Norton. "Consumers now cycle through online and offline media gathering information all the way through the purchasing process. It's an exciting time for marketers knowing that with the right content they can influence a consumer's decision at any time due to the rise of mobile." 

Additional data reveals that 52 percent of smartphone users look for local information in the car while on-the-go, while 90 percent of mobile users have used their devices while shopping - typically to look for deals and compare prices. Moreover, the study found that 45 percent of Mobile Fanatics use store apps to find information about products and services while shopping in store. Plus, 70 percent of Mobile Fanatics who view mobile ads end up making a purchase, and 80 percent complete the transaction within 72 hours of viewing a mobile ad.