It’s Happened: Mobile Overtakes PCs for Local Information Lookups

We knew the day would come and now it’s here. New LSA consumer research shows that mobile devices (mostly smartphones) are now used more often for local search and to find local information than PCs.

Here’s the specific finding: 60% of US adults now typically choose smartphones or tablets over PCs to find information before buying products and services offline.

Device most commonly used when looking for location information online

Local mobile search dominance

Lots of individual company data that have pointed to this for awhile. For example, Yelp’s previous disclosure that 60% of its search volume comes from mobile.

The new report in which these data are presented is called Mobile Fanatics – How Mobile is Transforming Local Shopping. There are many interesting findings, including that the most engaged mobile users (“mobile fanatics”) conduct at least 10 searches per week on at least two devices from multiple locations.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 7.20.14 AM

These highly engaged mobile users — representing 43 percent of the US mobile user population — are more receptive to and more influenced by mobile advertising than conventional mobile users. According to the data, 70% of “Mobile Fanatics” who view mobile ads make a purchase and 80% of them buy within 72 hours of ad exposure.

Has viewing/clicking on a mobile ad ever provided you with information that has prompted a purchase?

mobile users ad influence

So what’s the big picture? Why does this matter? All the same stuff I always say: trillions in product spending and services revenue happen offline and increasing amounts of that are influenced by the internet. Annual retail spending alone is a more than $4 trillion market.

US GDP last year was nearly $18 trillion. Roughly 70% of that is consumer spending. E-commerce is just over $300 billion. The rest is offline/local. That’s the market.

Accordingly, more and more offline spending is going to be influenced by mobile internet access and mobile advertising. This is the “why of local” that most marketers, brands and agencies still don’t fully understand — the online to offline connection.

The study was conducted for the LSA by Thrive Analytics. The survey was fielded earlier this year with a sample size of of 2,147 US adults.

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2 Responses to “It’s Happened: Mobile Overtakes PCs for Local Information Lookups”

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  2. Doyal Byant says at

    Great blog Greg. I plan to use some of this information in my presentation at SIINDA next week.  Hope to see you there.

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  4. Raisa @SweetIQ says at

    The advantage of the mobile search over desktop is it is on-the-go and better geolocation! As you say, it was just a matter of time for it to overcome desktop search.

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