Archive for the ‘Research & Data’ Category

Mobile Goes Universal: New Survey Shows Older Generations Embrace Mobile as Local Shopping Companion

Monday, April 14, 2014

Conventional wisdom tells us that younger generations trump older generations in their use of mobile devices during the local purchasing process. While teenagers use their smartphones at every opportunity to find local businesses, read reviews and scan deals, their parents and grandparents rarely rely on their devices to take advantage of what is increasingly available via mobile, right?

Maybe not. According to the results of a new consumer survey conducted by Thrive Analytics and released today by the Local Search Association, older generations — including Boomers and Seniors — are embracing mobile as a local shopping companion.

Local marketers should take note of the growing importance of mobile across all age groups, including Boomers and Seniors, and the various ways in which mobile usage and preferences are uniform across generations.

Take a look at our infographic below overviewing our survey results, and then head over to Search Engine Land to read my analysis of the key takeaways from this study.

Older Generations Embrace Mobile as Local Shopping Companion from Local Search Association

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Reputation Management

Friday, April 11, 2014

A few weeks ago we shared stats that highlighted the importance of ratings and reviews for local search as well as the impact ratings and reviews have on consumers.  Along those same lines, today’s stats examine the importance of managing and monitoring reviews, social media pages and other venues where consumers can freely provide feedback.

While these online venues make it easy to connect with local consumers, they also make it easy for a business’ slip ups to be more visible.  For this reason, reputation management is critical in order to leave a positive impression on existing and potential customers.

Here are some compelling stats the highlight the importance of managing a business’ online reputation:

  • 95% of unhappy customers will return if an issue is resolved quickly and efficiently. (People Claim)
  • Over half of brands (55.5%) do not have an effective strategy in place to deal with negative comments on social networks. (Social Media Marketing University)
  • 7 in 10 survey respondents indicated that a brand’s response to an online consumer review changes their perception of a brand. (Bazaarvoice)
  • 68% of SMBs don’t spend any time monitoring for online reviews. (Yodle)
  • Just 40.5% of SMBs consider websites with customer opinion to be very or extremely important. (BIA/Kelsey)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Ecommerce

Friday, April 4, 2014

According to a study conducted by UPS, 70% of online shoppers prefer to shop their favorite retailer online.  The growing popularity of online shopping has completely transformed local retail and just as big brands have developed robust ecommerce platforms, small retailers are seeing the value as well.

The online shopping space is becoming a great way to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds.  In a recent blog post, LSA’s Wesley Young discussed delivery alternatives for online purchases that lower the cost for consumers, and also have the capability of generating in-store visits, creating another opportunity to sell.

Here are some compelling ecommerce stats that have major implications for local retailers:

  • 94.6% of SMB ecommerce websites lack a shopping cart, prohibiting them from transacting business on the website. (vSplash)
  • Among consumers surveyed, 59.5% have completed a local purchase of merchandise or services online within the last six months. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • Half of consumers believe the best thing retailers can do to improve the shopping experience is to better integrate in-store, online and mobile shopping channels. (Accenture)
  • According to a Q4 2013 study, 73.2% of visits to online shopping sites come from PC users, as opposed to 14.6% and 12.2% from tablets and smartphones, respectively. (Monetate)
  • Half of respondents said it was important for retailers to offer in-store pickup for online purchases. (Forrester)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Social Media

Friday, March 28, 2014

Given the limited advertising budgets of SMBs, the reason more and more of them are starting to use social media as a marketing tool is the potential reach these platforms allow without the need to spend big.  These social outlets are becoming a popular way for brands and local businesses to connect with, inform and reward followers and fans.

In addition to organic reach, many of the most popular social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) offer paid advertising opportunities with the capability to target very specific audience segments.  These targeting capabilities are powerful on these platforms, especially when trying to reach local consumers.

Here are some compelling stats that show how the impact social media is having on consumers and local marketers:

  • Close to 6 in 10 global consumers say that friends’ social media posts influence their purchase choices. (IBM Institute for Business Value)
  • 56% of millennial local consumers said that they have interacted with social media in the past 6 months at some point in the purchase funnel. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • 94% of SMBs said they use social media for marketing and 61% said that social media helps them gain new customers. (LinkedIn)
  • Of online adults, 71% use Facebook, 18% use Twitter, 17% use Instagram, 21% use Pinterest and 22% use LinkedIn. (Pew Research)
  • Facebook has about 25 million active small business pages. (Facebook)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Local Mobile Searches Spark Purchasing Decisions [INFOGRAPHIC]

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In recent years, consumers have embraced the use of smartphones and tablets as part of their daily routines. So it’s no surprise that as more people “get connected,” they are relying more on their mobile devices when making local purchasing decisions than ever before.

The Local Search Association today is releasing new data, compiled as part of comScore’s MobiLens US online survey in December 2013, that demonstrates the growing proliferation and increased usage of different types of mobile devices as part of the local purchasing process.

Take a look at our infographic below for details on the growing consumer shift towards local mobile. The results are a strong indication to local retailers about the importance of ensuring that their marketing strategies reach consumers across screens.

Local Retailers Generate Store Visits with Online Purchase Delivery Alternatives

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One advantage local brick and mortar retailers have over online-only retailers, such as Amazon, is that they can be more flexible when it comes to the way in which they deliver a consumer’s online purchase. In addition to lowering the cost for consumers, some delivery alternatives have the capability of generating in-store visits, which creates another opportunity to sell.

Some delivery alternatives include reserving products online and picking up/paying in-store, using the store as a delivery hub or shipping directly to stores. Not only do these alternatives help lower costs, but consumers want local businesses to offer this flexibility. According to a Forrester Consulting study, conducted at the end of last year, about half of respondents said it was important for retailers to offer in-store pickup for online purchases.

In addition to creating a positive customer experience for those looking for this kind of service, delivering directly to the store increases foot-traffic. This is important because, according to a BIA/Kelsey study, SMBs voted in-person interactions as “excellent” lead sources more than any other lead source except for calls which received equal votes.

The offline pick-up offers an up sell or secondary marketing opportunity for businesses. Much like the products not on the grocery list that end up in the shopping cart, this interaction often generates further sales or opportunities to build customer loyalty.  I can see the in-store pick up being used by retailers to:

  • Recommend similar or complimentary products;
  • Remind consumers of concurrent deals, promotions;
  • Inform consumers of new inventory/products; and
  • Request an online review.

Since an in-person visit is not an option for online-only vendors, and the lead quality of that interaction is so high, the in-store pickup is an incredible opportunity for brick and mortar stores to leverage.  In addition to enhancing the visual experience of the customer from what he or she sees online, the store can appeal to many more senses like touch, feel, smells and sounds.  For this reason, the in-store pickup has the ability to generate more traffic and create more opportunities to make a sale.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Ratings and Reviews

Friday, March 21, 2014

Following the recent announcement of a partnership with Yahoo, Yelp, the popular ratings and review site, has partnered with local search provider, YP. There is no denying that ratings and reviews are having an impact on the local marketplace and search providers are making big moves to secure a foothold in the review space.

As platforms use reviews as significant drivers of search rankings and improve their ability to filter out fake reviews – and government officials crack down on dishonest practices – consumer trust and use of reviews can only be expected to grow. This trend will continue to increase the impact of reviews on local businesses.

Here are some compelling stats that show how ratings and reviews are impacting the local advertising space:

  • Online consumer reviews are the third-most trusted form of advertising. (Nielsen)
  • Only half of small business owners think positive online reviews are important. (Yodle)
  • The single most important variable in the ranking of search results on Google’s Local Carousel is the quality and quantity of reviews. (Digital Marketing Works)
  • A one-star rating hike on Yelp can mean a 5-9% rise in restaurant revenue. (Harvard Business School)
  • About 20% of respondents to a Street Fight consumer survey said they would submit a review after a negative experience, and about the same amount said they would submit a review after a positive experience. (Street Fight)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!

Twitter Seeking to Break into Local Ad Market with Click-to-Call Button

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Last week, I blogged about the value of click-to-call programs for local marketers. Now Twitter is testing a new click-to-call button – a capability that some believe will better position the company to attract local business advertisers.

John McDermott provided some insightful commentary on Digiday regarding what the button means for Twitter’s positioning in the local ad space. He said:

“A click-to-call button could potentially help Twitter break into the traditionally digital-averse local advertising market. A local restaurant could advertise a special to Twitter users within a certain proximity, for instance, and measure conversions by how many Twitter users ended up calling for reservations. When Twitter recently launched location-based feature Nearby to select users, many suggested the move helped poise it to enter the local ad market. Location-based apps like Foursquare, Google Maps and Yelp already have click-to-call features in their apps.”

I couldn’t agree more. In fact, just last month I discussed the opportunity for local businesses to leverage Twitter’s new Nearby feature. With the potential addition of the click-to-call button, Twitter is poised to make a splash in the local space.

Something worth noting – a recent study from Pew Research Center shows about half of all Twitter users, comprised of about 8% of all U.S. adults, get news from the social site.  Comparable to the time sensitive and easily shareable nature of news, I can see tweets about offers and deals having similar success when it comes to driving retweets, calls and even store visits for businesses.

We’ll definitely be keeping an eye on Twitter as they continue to develop their local advertising and marketing capabilities.

LinkedIn Survey: 94% of SMBs Use Social Media for Marketing [Infographic]

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

LinkedIn recently shared an infographic entitled, “The Year of the Social Small Business,” which highlights results from an SMB survey on the ways businesses are using social media in their marketing efforts. LinkedIn’s survey found that about 94% of SMBs said they use social media for marketing, while 61% said that social media helps them gain new customers.

Check out the infographic below for details.

Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week: Online Video

Friday, March 14, 2014

This week we focus on the growing online video advertising space and its impact on consumers. As more and more consumers shift from watching live TV to streaming online video, there is a tremendous opportunity for marketers to build awareness and engagement with the growing online outlet.

Here are some compelling stats that show how online video is impacting the advertising space:

  • About 190 million Americans watch more than 52 billion online videos and more than 35 billion video ads each month. (comScore)
  • 91% of agencies and 86% of brands anticipate an increase in video spending in 2014. (Adap.tv)
  • 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching videos explaining a product or service. (Animoto)
  • Online video ads will attract $5.72 billion in 2014. (eMarketer)
  • Online video ads have higher impact than TV ads. (IAB/Nielsen)

Be sure to check back next week for our next edition of Top 5 Local Ad Stats of the Week. Have a great weekend!