Study: Tablet Search Becoming Vital to Local Business

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If you use your tablet to perform a search for information about a local vendor, chances are remarkably good you will purchase something. The 2012 Local Search Usage Study, a combined effort from from comScore, 15miles, and Localeze, found that “86% of tablet users made a purchase from their most recent tablet-based local search.” That is an impressively high number, especially combined with the fact that 64% of tablet users conduct searches on a weekly basis.

Crunch those numbers and you find that almost half of all tablet users use their tablets to buy something from a local business every week.

“Not only are they using the tablets to do research, but once they go to make that contact they tend to use the device to make purchases,” Dave Dague, Localeze’s vice president of marketing, told Street Fight. “We think that’s because tablets are like PCs and the buy-flow is a little easier.”

Tablet users are, by definition, early adopters, but the devices are rapidly proliferating living rooms around America. Because of that, the stats have important implications for all local businesses. They need to have strong online presences—Localeze’s speciality, hence their participation in the survey—in order to capitalize on the increase in purchases. There is still time to take advantage.

“Typically in these markets, consumer demand is ahead of the business side responding to it,” Dague said. “Businesses need to be in the space. They need to be consistent and accurate.”

The Local Usage survey also suggests that it is vital for local business to be aware of their footprint on social networks. The study, complied from comScore data and 4,000 surveys, shows a 67% increase in the percentage of local searches taking place on social networks, most notably Facebook. Instead of going a more traditional route such as the yellow pages or an Internet directory, consumers are looking for what they need within the social networking giant where they spend so much of their time. And they are finding what they need.

Finally, the study suggests that the death of the daily deals market is vastly exaggerated. More than half (60%) of the people who buy daily deals “report high satisfaction” with the deals.

Here’s an infographic that summarizes all the findings.