Whether it’s confirming store hours or checking if a store nearby has a product in stock, people conduct local searches every day. In an effort to gain an intimate understanding of this explosive local search trend, Google conducted an extensive survey in January of 2014 amongst smartphone and tablet users in the US.

Assuming we as Canadians employ similar local search behaviour to our southern neighbours, some very valuable consumer behaviour revealed itself.

In summary, 4 out of 5 consumers use their mobile phones or computers/tablets to conduct local searches for store address, business hours, directions and product availability.

50% of local searches on a mobile phone are followed up with an in-store visit within a day, and 34% of local searches using a computer or tablet did the same.

Local search leads to a higher conversion than non-local search: 18% of smartphone local search queries resulted in a purchase within a day, compared to 7% of non-local searches.

When asked what would influence their decision to purchase in-store vs. online:

  • 30% said they’d buy local if they were close to the store
  • 35% said they’d buy local for the convenience of instant gratification
  • 31% said they’d buy local if they knew they were getting better pricing

Results clearly indicated that local searchers are ready to act: they use mobile devices to research local information at every point in the purchase process.

Have you got your bases covered for local search? Ensuring that simple information like store hours, address, phone number, and products is accessible to local searchers will impact on your bottom line.

See the survey in full: http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/research-studies/how-advertisers-can-extend-their-relevance-with-search.html