By 2015, it is estimated that 30% of all internet searches will be done by people who are looking for something locally. That is to say, consumers in your area are looking for your local business or its products/services.
Your potential customers are using their smartphones or their computers/tablets to research, find, and purchase local products/services. If you aren’t in their local search results, you’re losing sales. You know the old saying – “Out of sight, out of mind.” That definitely applies to local businesses.
Is creating a website and having an online presence for your local business really worth it? Here are some things to consider about your customers.
Local Consumers Search Locally First
Shoppers use local searches to find what they want to purchase and where they want to purchase it. To maximize sales, businesses need a website that shows up in the search engines and local search results.
- 85% of consumers search for local business information online rather than in a phone book.
- 61% of local searches result in a purchase.
- In the U.S., there are over 3 billion local searches per month.
- 59% of consumers say they use Google search on a monthly basis (or more) to find good local business.
- Almost 50% of all searches on Google are local. This is expected to rise to 60% within the next 12 - 15 months.
- 18% of local searches lead to sales, compared to 7% for non-local searches.
- More than 60% of consumers have used location information in ads.
Local Mobile Shoppers
Shoppers use mobile devices such as smartphones and computers/tablets to perform their local searches for businesses and products/services. Shoppers who use mobile devices more also buy more so it literally pays to have a business website that is mobile friendly and buyer friendly.
- 77% of mobile searches occur at home or work, while 17% on the go.
- 79% of smartphone owners use their smartphones to assist with shopping at least once a month or more.
- 90% of smartphone shoppers use their phone for pre-shopping activities such as:
- Find location/directions (58% )
- Find hours (57%)
- Make price comparisons (44%)
- Find promo offers (44%)
- Browse (43%)
- Find where specific products are sold (32%)
- Find product information (31%)
- Find product availability in-store (31%)
- Find product reviews (30%)
- 84% of smartphone shoppers use their devices to help shop while they are actually in a store.
- Of these, 82% use a search engine to find additional information about a product, while 62% go straight to the store's website.
- When doing their pre-buying research, 65% of in-store shoppers prefer to view mobile sites rather than use an app to get the information they’re looking for.
- 3 of 4 mobile searches lead to at least 2 customer actions such as more research, a store visit, a phone call, a purchase or info sharing.
- These follow-up actions also happen very quickly. 55% of conversions (store visit, phone call or purchase) happen within an hour.
- 28% of mobile searches result in conversions such as a store visit, call, or purchase.
When people use mobile searches to help them make a decision about a business, product, or service, they are:
- 57% more likely to visit a store
- 51% more likely to make a purchase
- 39% more likely to call a business
- 30% more likely to visit a retailer website.
- Mobile Advertising, which essentially requires a business to have its own website, is effective:
- 65% of respondents noticed ads during the study
- 59% of people find mobile ads useful
- Computer/tablet users say it’s most important to have the store address and phone number in ads.
- Smartphone users say it’s most important to have directions and the call button on ads.
- 34% of consumers on tablets or computers will go to a store within a day of conducting a local search.
Yelp and Online Reviews
- 93% of people who research using reviews buy the items from the site where the review was found.
- 72% of consumers consider online reviews just as trustworthy as personal recommendations.
- 90% of Yelp users say positive reviews affect their buying.
- 51% of Yelp users make their purchase decisions after visiting the site.
- While Yelp visitations don’t always result in action, users report that 93% of the time, it may result in making a purchase from a local business.
Google+/Google My Business Pages
Having a Google+ Business Page or Google Places page, now called Google My Business, will make it easier for users to locate your business. Google My Business incorporates many of Google's Apps into one area, making it easier for business owners to grow and manage their businesses with a variety of tools and statistics.
- 60% of Google+ 540 million active monthly users, log in every day compared to Twitter, where 50% of users log in daily.
- After a local search, 86% then go to Google Maps to look up a business address.
Local searches and mobile buying are on the rise. Take full advantage of online and mobile marketing to be top of mind to your potential customers.