Local Search Growth Fuels Need for Marketing Mobile Apps

With more consumers relying on their smartphones to help them find local market information, SMBs should be focusing on smartphoneappthe impression they are making on the small screen.  Consumers are making smartphones their ‘go-​to’ devices for local searching and the activity is eclipsing what’s happening on tablets and PCs. Businesses that fail to provide critically important data on their mobile apps risk losing out to competitors.

The 6th Annual Neustar Localeze Local Search Usage Study shows that local searching on PCs is being replaced by activity on smartphones. Consumers want speed and convenience during their smartphone-​based searches. As a result, they are going directly to apps, instead of portal sites, to get the information they need.  It’s not that consumers are giving up on PC-​based searching. That format is still important in the beginning search stages. But, during end-​stage local business searching, 18% of consumers are turning to tablets or smartphones, while only 4% are using PCs. This difference is important to businesses, as 8% of smartphone searchers spent $500 or more while only 5% of PC searchers spent the same. In addition, 48% of smartphone searchers show up at a local business.

Consumers are turning to Google maps, Mapquest, and Apple maps as their favorite apps. Consumers want to know details like business address, phone number and hours of operation. The most helpful details for smartphone apps are maps (34%), driving directions (33%) and distance to the business (31%). In comparison, for tablet-​based apps, top scorers are consumer ratings (32%) and discounts (30%).

With 86 million consumers now looking for local business information on their smartphones, marketers must optimize their mobile presence. For many businesses, this will mean offering a good mobile app.

To learn more about Smartphone Users, check out the Audience Interests & Intent Report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.

[Source: 6th Annual Neustar Localeze Local Search Usage Study. Neustar​.biz. 2013. Web. 9 Apr. 2013] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.