How Mobile’s Marketing Influence Extends To Offline Sales

Think With Google’s stats are clear: mobile moves people to local purchases. Here’s how.

The number is overwhelming and it may seem obvious: 76 percent of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby go on to visit a business within a day.

But the important thing is what local brands do with that insight of mobile search and what it leads to. According to Think with Google, 28 percent of those “near me” searches result in a sale at a physical shop.

What makes the difference between one local business being found through mobile search and another business remaining undiscovered speaks demands a clear understanding of location accuracy.

Real-Time Trust Building

For one thing, location accuracy is more than just having the correct address listed on Google Maps. As Think with Google notes, it requires providing the fullest possible sense of information about a business and the questions a consumer might have. For example, whether a business is actually open or closed at the moment a person is searching is crucial.

It goes without saying that the information must be accurately updated in real-time. After all, if a business closes unexpectedly early and a prospective consumer shows up to a darkened, locked store, the disappointment is likely to translate into a lack of trust directed at that location. Conversely, accurate information for a person in immediate need of service or product is likely to benefit with repeat visits.

Mobile Search Is ‘The New Front Door’

About 30 percent of all mobile searches are related to finding a location, Think with Google says. Digging deeper behind that number to find what gives one business location the advantage over another, Think with Google also finds that there has been a year-over-year increase of 2.1x in the searches that contain phrases akin to “store open now” or “food open now.” There’s also been a 1.3x rise over the last year in the number of searches that seek “where to buy/find/get.”

Here’s where real-time accuracy comes in: Google’s search algorithm tends to highlight the most relevant searches in response to users’ queries. Those searches that yield the most influence will also rank more highly for consumers typing in those queries on their smartphones.

Given that every month, according to Google, 1.5 billion locations are visited by people as a result of a mobile search.

“When people want to know, do, go, or buy, they turn to their smartphones,” Think with Google notes. “If your business has a physical location, you know by now that mobile search is the new front door to your store.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.