Local Search on Mobile: Not Really a Surprise

Mobile Marketer runs an interview with the Compete analyst who put together the firm’s recent Q1 smartphone report. Here’s my brief write-up of the survey data over at Internet2Go.

The headline of the Mobile Marketer piece is “Local search driving foot traffic for businesses.” Here’s the relevant excerpt from the interview:

What is the key finding of the study?
One of the most predominant findings to emerge from Compete’s Q1 2010 Smartphone Intelligence is the rate at which consumers’ use of local search, social networking and gaming on smartphones is growing.

What is the most surprising finding, and why?
One of the most surprising findings was that nearly one-third of all smartphone owners surveyed reported calling or stopping into a local business after finding it by using a local search application.

Approximately one in three Android and iPhone owners discovered at least two new businesses in the first quarter as a result of using the local search applications on their phone.

The most popular types of information being looked for is an address, more information on a business in the area and a phone number.

Again:

One of the most surprising findings was that nearly one-third of all smartphone owners surveyed reported calling or stopping into a local business after finding it by using a local search application.

This is really only surprising to those unfamiliar with the market or how consumers are interacting with mobile devices. While local search is not the only thing people are doing on smartphones it’s a big part of it. The Yelp stat that 27% of the company’s search query volume is coming from the iPhone is a strong indicator of this.

So is the following data from Microsoft, presented during the SMX Advanced show:

Microsoft’s Dennis Glavin said that the time it takes for 70% of users to begin and complete a search-related task on the PC is about a week. By contrast 70% of mobile users complete their search activity — in one hour. This very clearly illustrates the “need it now” dimension of much of mobile user behavior.

In addition to reading email and news, people are looking for things to do, places to eat, store hours and locations, maps & directions on mobile devices. Mobile phones and smartphones in particular are emerging as our “remote controls for the real world.”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed.

2 Responses to “Local Search on Mobile: Not Really a Surprise”

  1. Caliban says at

    Hi Greg

    Thanks for posting this. While the results are generally unsurprising, I would be really interested to see what kind of a split between local searches via Apps and Browser there is.

    In the case of Yelp as the App is very popular I’d imagine it’s all App driven, but I’m not so sure about the rest.

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    That data exists in a 2009 TMP-comScore report. It’s a year old but I’ll dig it out.

  3. Chitika: Mobile Users 45% More Likely To Search Locally says at

    […] smartphone owners are heavily using their devices to conduct searches locally. But that’s not really a surprise either. Share, Bookmark & Discuss This Article […]

Leave a Reply