Survey: 82 percent of smartphone shoppers conduct ‘near me’ searches

The smartphone is now the primary digital tool for most consumers under 50. And the large majority of smartphone owners conduct local searches with varying degrees of frequency.

This fact is well established by multiple surveys and behavioral studies over the past several years. Google has said formally and informally at different points that “local intent” search constitutes 30, 40 and even 50 percent of mobile queries. The current official number is 30 percent.

Regardless, the company has also publicized the massive growth in “near me” queries. Many of those queries also carry buying signals, such as “can I guy” or “to buy.”

On Monday, Uberall released data from a new “Near Me Shopping Report.” The survey consisted of responses from more than 1,000 smartphone owners in the US and was conducted between July 23 – 27, 2018. It found that 69 percent of smartphone owners use their devices to help them shop (other surveys have found larger numbers). Of that group 82 percent had done “near me” searches (92 percent for Millennials).

According to the survey, this was the hierarchy of near me query categories:

  • Food — 84 percent
  • Entertainment — 56 percent
  • Banking — 50 percent
  • Apparel — 41 percent
  • Persona care — 38 percent

For retail-specific lookups, smartphone shoppers were doing the following:

  • Product research — 63 percent
  • Price comparisons — 62 percent
  • Search for coupons/deals — 56 percent
  • Store hours — 54 percent
  • Store locations — 52 percent

In terms of this retail search category, mobile consumers were looking for:

  • Specific store/retailer — 48 percent
  • Product category nearby — 29 percent
  • Specific brand nearby — 23 percent

The survey also revealed that 60 percent of mobile users were “very likely” to click on the “first two to three search results they saw.” Overall more than 90 percent were “likely” to click on the first set of results. (No surprise there.)

As interesting as some of these numbers are, the survey doesn’t really tell us anything new. It confirms, however, that mobile consumers use smartphones to navigate the real-world and that an optimized and visible presence in search results really matters.

About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog, Screenwerk, about connecting the dots between digital media and real-world consumer behavior. He is also VP of Strategy and Insights for the Local Search Association. Follow him on Twitter or find him at Google+.

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