Majority of Local Searches on a Mobile Phone End With an In-Store Purchase

April 17, 2014

Neustar15miles-Local-Search-Conversions-by-Device-Apr2014Some 78% of local searches conducted on a mobile phone result in a purchase, and 73% of those purchases are made in-store, according to the 2014 Local Search Study from Neustar Localeze and 15miles, which measured the last action taken by more than 3,000 users of local business internet search. That suggests that a majority 57% of respondents’ last local searches ended in an in-store purchase. Comparable figures for searches conducted on a PC/laptop and tablet were 43% and 42%, respectively. The higher figure for mobile phones was based mostly on a higher percentage of searches resulting in a purchase; relatively fewer searches conducted on computers (61%) and tablets (64%) converted. In fact, the percentage of searches ending in a purchase on a tablet was down significantly from the prior year’s results (77%), perhaps due to tablet searches being more actively performed in order to compare prices. Results from the study indicate that 41% of tablet-owning local searchers use their devices to compare local businesses and services to each other.

Mobile local search conversions also tended to happen more quickly on mobile phones than on tablets. More than 6 in 10 purchases resulting from a local search on a mobile phone were made within a few hours of the research process, compared to 45% of purchases made after a tablet search. Computers more closely aligned with mobile phones from this perspective, with 60% of searches ending in a purchase doing so within a few hours of the research.

Reasons for using local search differ somewhat by device: those using mobile phones are overwhelmingly motivated by a need for information on the go, while computer and tablet users are driven more by ease of use, although tablet owners also seek information on-the-go. Not surprisingly, the primary piece of information sought when searching by mobile phone is an address or location. Tablet owners are more interested in finding a business with the products and services needed.

Despite the clear influence of local search on mobile phones, users aren’t all that happy with the experience. Only half of those who search on a mobile phone are satisfied with the experience, compared to 54% of those who conduct searches on a tablet and 64% of those who do so on PCs and laptops. A slight majority of those who conduct local searches on their mobile phone believe that mobile site design is important.

Overall, 96% of PC/laptop users responding to the study use their device for local search, as do 81% of tablet owners and 79% of mobile phone owners.

Other Findings:

  • Restaurants are the most commonly searched for local category, aligning with prior study results from YP.
  • On tablets, though, shops are a more commonly-searched for category than restaurants.
  • Roughly two-thirds of respondents’ last local searches in the health and fitness, restaurant and financial categories were for a specific business. Just 37% of their last searches in the entertainment category, by contrast, were for a specific business.

About the Data: The survey study consisted of a targeted sample of more than 3,000 users of local business internet searchers, broken into 3 search categories: Internet Yellow Pages, Local Search Sites, and Portal Search Sites.

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