Nearly 80% of Local Mobile Searches Result in a Purchase

There is no doubt that smartphones have changed the way we live our lives, but now we have concrete proof that they have also changed the way we shop offline.

According to a new study, 78% of all local searches on mobile devices led to a direct purchase within 24 hours. Of those purchases 73% were done in a physical store, 16% by phone, and 11% online.

The study was published by comScore after partnering with leaders in local search marketing Neustar Localeze and 15miles agency. The study examined search behavior across search engines and local directory sites through mobile, PC, and Tablet users. According to the report, all 5,000 respondents had conducted a local business search in the last 12 months.

Although the top reason for local searches was to find a specific business, the second most common type of search was categorical. That means that a significant number of searchers didn’t have a specific business in mind. That’s just one more reason for businesses to invest in search engine optimization (SEO) and targeted ads.

According to comScore almost half of all service, restaurant, and travel searchers were looking for a business they had never purchased from before.
Google later released their own study that revealed that 4 in 5 consumers prefer ads customized to their city, zip code, or immediate surroundings.

Mobile searchers are also looking for specific information. According to Google, 54% are searching for business hours, 53% are searching for directions to the local store, and 50% are searching for the store address. Due to limited screen space, mobile phone users may depend more on schema than actual web pages for results.

The Google study revealed that consumers would rather buy in store than online if they knew they were close to the store (30%), could get the product quickly (35%), and if they saw better pricing in the store (31%).

With more than half of all Google searches worldwide now occurring on mobile devices local businesses have to optimize their online presence to be able to compete not just with online retailers, but also with their local competition.