The Race for the Local Web
Proximity is influencing the digital landscape more so than ever before as shoppers want access to products and services as quickly as possible. Whether it’s choosing the closest brick-and-mortar or the fastest delivery/pick-up option for a product they found online, Internet users are proving speed and convenience rule the digital day.
Search queries on Google including the words “near me,” for example, have increased by a factor of 34 since 2011 and, according to the search engine, nearly doubled since last year – with the vast majority (80 percent) coming from mobile. Which search entries do mobile users tend to select the most? Those that can lead to quick action. In fact, Google reported last year that 72 percent of consumers who searched for local information on their smartphones visited a store within 5 miles – good news for a business with a local storefront.
Clearly mobile and the local Web are deeply intertwined (more on that below), but it’s not just mobile search that is fueling local purchase decisions.