Local searches dominated by mobile and social
On the other hand, 56% of social and 60% of mobile users are more likely to search with specific businesses in mind because they are already outside the home looking for a nearby business to fill a need. As a result of this activity, the study points to a lack of sophisticated search functions in social networks for the differences in behaviour.
Additional research by comScore identified the power of local, mobile and social search among consumers, with 70% of survey respondents using search engines, online Yellow Pages or social networks as their primary sources of local business information. Local search engine queries continued to increase at a strong rate with 9% year-over-year growth.
By measuring consumer behavior and the impact on decisions, the study reveals insights that are necessary to influence marketers' search strategies. Key factors included:
* Online search is the preferred method for information about local businesses, with 70% of consumers citing online sites as their primary source.
* Search engines are most popular, but they are not growing as fast as other media.
* Local searchers are more apt to buy.
* Print is declining, but it still holds value for today's consumers as a secondary source.
* With emerging media on the rise, a diverse media mix must now include social and mobile marketing.
Consumers who use social networks and mobile smartphones are more likely to use and write reviews. More than 40% have submitted between 2-5 reviews in the past 30 days. In addition, 78% of social networkers and 71% of mobile users consider consumer ratings and reviews important in making their purchase selections.
Of those participating in the survey, 81% believe it's important for local businesses to respond to questions and complaints on social sites; 78% want special offers, promotions and information about events; and 66% believe that company photos are important.