Use of mobile devices continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and local business owners should be taking notice now more than ever. A new “Mobile Path to Purchase” study conducted by Nielsen tracked what consumers are doing with their mobile devices. According to the study, consumers show a strong preference for finding information related to local contact and purchases, such as looking up a business location, accessing map and driving directions and calling a business.
Depending on the category and device used, as many as 73 percent of mobile users report looking for a business phone number and subsequently calling the business. In addition, up to 84 percent of mobile searchers report looking up a business location and accessing driving directions.
Those, quite simply, are huge numbers that are driving a great deal of activity and leads for local businesses. For business owners, of course, the implications are clear: You need to be visible in mobile search, and your ads or listings should always include a phone number and directions.
The key to success in mobile is to provide information that has local relevance along with local offers. “If an ad or listing doesn’t have local relevance at the time of action, the consumer will move on to the next business, so including local phone numbers rather than toll-free numbers is helpful,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telemetrics, a firm that provides call tracking services.
Consumers use their mobile devices differently depending on the specific product or service they are looking for. In general, when someone searches for business information on a mobile device their so-called “purchase intent” is strong. But the exact timing depends on what they’re looking for.
For example, about 87 percent of people searching for a restaurant on a mobile device plan to go there the same day – often within the hour. In the travel category, however, most mobile searches are research based and don’t always result in immediate buying decisions. In the autos category, searches are a mixture of quick purchases and research type activity. About 49 percent of searchers intend to make a purchase the same day.
• Across all vertical categories, tablet owners mostly use their device at home (72 percent) while smartphone users mostly use their device on the go (68 percent).