Survey Reveals Local Businesses and Consumers Out of Sync on Mobile Search Expectations

  Survey Reveals Local Businesses and Consumers Out of Sync on Mobile Search
  Expectations

   Neustar’s Localeze and 15miles Seventh Annual Study Highlights Need for
 Mobile-Optimized Search Content as More Consumers Search on Multiple Devices

Business Wire

STERLING, Va. -- April 9, 2014

More than a decade into the smartphone era, consumers still don’t get the
level of functionality they need from the mobile web when conducting searches
for local and other businesses. Although four out of five searches via mobile
devices lead to purchases, often within a few hours, the mobile search user
experience still has a lower satisfaction rate than its PC, laptop and tablet
equivalents.

That’s one key takeaway from a comprehensive new survey of digital consumer
behavior commissioned by Neustar and 15miles and conducted by comScore, based
on a targeted sample of more than 3,000 users who conduct local business
searches. The study also reveals that these users interact with local content
on more devices than ever, with 63 percent now using multiple devices to find
local businesses.

The research also indicates that PC-based searches increased slightly
year-over-year in 2013, influenced by a 6 percent decline in searches on
non-search engine websites. At the same time, the mobile phone and tablet
audience is growing, and it represents a huge potential market: 79 percent of
mobile phone users and 81 percent of tablet owners use those devices to search
for local business information. As this practice becomes more routine, the
less satisfied these users are with the process.

“There’s a tremendous opportunity here for companies to gain a competitive
advantage by improving the local search experience for consumers across mobile
devices,” said Mike Pycha, executive director at Neustar. “More than half the
consumers in this survey, 54 percent, stress the importance of mobile site
design. That should be a clarion call to the many vendors who still see mobile
as a lower priority than their primary online offerings.”

Searching for Information On the Go

The survey shows that consumers have different uses and expectations for
PC/laptop and mobile local searches. Smartphone and tablet searches are driven
by a need for information on the go—a top reason cited by 65 percent of
smartphone users and 37 percent of tablet users. As a result, mobile phone and
tablet searchers don’t want to be overwhelmed with content, but do expect
details like addresses (mobile) and basic product/service information (mobile
and tablet).

The new research also indicates a divergence between smartphone and tablet
local search:

  *Compared with all other devices, mobile phones have the highest conversion
    rate: Nearly 80 percent of mobile phone searches end in a purchase.
  *Tablet search functionality might be influenced by the time of day—44
    percent of tablet traffic occurs after 5 pm, when users perhaps find it
    harder to reach brick-and-mortar stores.
  *Share of tablet searches that end in a purchase, 64 percent, decreases as
    the search function becomes comparative in nature.

Bringing Customers in the Door

Additionally, the line between ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail is
blurring. In another sign of the omnichannel retail trend, the study indicates
that nearly three out of four mobile phone searches that end in a purchase
actually brought the customer into a brick-and-mortar store.

So what are local search users looking for on their mobile devices? The new
survey shows that not much has changed since the last such research
initiative:

  *Restaurants come out on top with 23 percent, followed by stores in various
    categories
  *Auto service establishments and dealerships come in at 10 percent
  *Arts and entertainment rank at 9 percent

Just as each device clearly meets specific needs in terms of local search,
businesses should in turn consider which device appeals most to their
particular audience when developing and executing marketing strategies. In
particular, when asked what kinds of businesses they’re looking for when
conducting specific business searches, consumers cite:

  *Health and fitness (67 percent)
  *Restaurants (67 percent)
  *Financial services providers (66 percent)

These findings point to a clear opportunity for independent companies to gain
an advantage by being easy to find online, whether through PCs/laptops or on
mobile devices.

“This research may be our clearest indication yet of the ongoing maturation of
the mobile market,” said Brian Wool, vice president of content distribution at
Neustar. “On the one hand, consumers will continue to enjoy a wide variety of
form factors, operating systems and particularly applications. At the same
time, they expect a consistent and navigable search functionality that serves
up exactly the depth and quality of information they need. Vendors that can
offer such services can gain a clear and competitive advantage.”

“Trends Shaping Local Search in 2014,” a webinar featuring speakers from
Neustar, comScore and 15miles on April 9 at 2:00 p.m. ET, will offer most
insights from the survey, along with real-world strategies and tactics that
independent companies can adopt to draw more business. You can join the
conversation by clicking here.

Methodology

The Neustar Localeze and 15miles comScore Local Search Usage Study consists of
a targeted sample of more than 3,000 users of local business Internet
searchers, broken down by three search categories: Internet Yellow Pages,
local search sites, and portal search sites. The report leverages both the
quantitative survey and behavioral data from comScore’s U.S. consumer panel.

About Neustar, Inc.

Neustar, Inc. (NYSE:NSR) is the first real-time provider of cloud-based
information services and data analytics, enabling marketing and IT security
professionals to promote and protect their businesses.With a commitment to
privacy and neutrality, Neustar operates complex data registries and uses its
expertise to deliver actionable, data-driven insights that help clients make
high-value business decisions in real time, one customer interaction at a
time. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.

About 15miles

15miles, the local search division of Geary LSF Group, is a leader in local,
mobile and social marketing solutions for national and regional brands.
Applying the management team's proven expertise and rich history in local
search marketing to its services, 15miles offers a variety of solutions that
includes social marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click
advertising, website design and development, Internet yellow pages, local
business listing management and mobile solutions. For more information, please
visit www.15miles.com or www.gearylsf.com.

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Contact:

Neustar, Inc.
Nicole Nolte, 571-434-5323
nicole.nolte@neustar.biz
 
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