Study: 81% of Consumers Search for Restaurants on Mobile Apps

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remove-search-box-google_s-toolbar-800x800A new study released by SinglePlatform and Chadwick Martin Bailey finds that 92 percent of consumers have searched for a restaurant on their web browser in the past six months versus 81 percent that have done so on a mobile app. Meanwhile, 75 percent of consumers said they were more likely to dine at a restaurant based on the results of their digital searches.

While it may seem odd that more people are still finding places to eat using a web browser rather than an app, given the growth of mobile, SinglePlatform GM Wiley Cerilli told Street Fight that the study nonetheless shows a positive trend in mobile: “Searching for restaurants via traditional web browsers has simply been around longer and is a bit more established than searching via mobile devices,” he said. “However, we actually view the results of the survey as a significant increase in the amount of consumers searching for restaurants in mobile apps and we expect this number to continue its upward trend as we move through 2013.”

The survey also found that 70 percent of consumers feel that it is important to be able to see a restaurant’s menu when they search, and 62 percent are less likely to choose a restaurant if they cannot read a menu on the app or browser. The large percentage indicates how important secondary information is, especially when it can influence an actionable decision.

“We’ve found that, while information like a menu, product or service is critical, it’s just as important to have other rich content included in an online listing, including specials, hours of operation, contact information, and more,” Cerilli said. “We’ve also found that including photos in online listings can drive click-through rates.”

This information is important considering that the survey found that restaurants are the most searched for industry, which Cerilli thinks is due to the fact that “choosing a restaurant to dine at is a decision that many consumers make on the go.”

Cerilli thinks that these results show that SMB’s “can no longer ignore mobile,” and that they need to make sure there information is widely available, especially since 83 percent of consumers look at more then one restaurant and want that secondary information like a menu: “Today’s mobile consumer is relying more than ever on ratings and review sites like Yelp, YP, and Foursquare to make decisions on where to dine, shop, et cetera,” he said. “So it’s critical for small businesses to make sure that their menu, product, or service information is available and up-to-date across all online and mobile platforms. Those small business owners that manage and update their mobile and online listings effectively and efficiently are poised to benefit from repeat business and long-term success.”

Isa Jones is an editorial assistant at Street Fight.