Are You Hot or Not? Local Search is on Fire

Predicting the future is always risky business. But a recent article, Four Mega Trends Shaping the Future of Commerce, gives an insightful look into what that future might hold.

In the next decade, we’ll see more change in the commerce landscape than in the past 100 years combined.The reason? Four mega trends being driven by consumers are dramatically changing buying and selling habits as we know them. Merchants of all types—from brick-and-mortar retail outlets to non-profits, to manufacturers and even those selling online—need to ensure they’re keeping pace or risk going the way of Blockbuster, Borders and the dinosaurs.

One of those trends is the merging of mobile and local search which, according to the article, “is leading to the creation of entirely new business models and opportunities for merchants and consumers alike.”

Local search, as opposed to search in general, is when someone searches online for a local business, product, or service. The proliferation of mobile devices—particularly smart phones—has caused local search to increase exponentially over past the few years. That’s good news for local businesses.

Search has Gone Local

Twenty percent (20%) of all Internet searches are local searches. To put that in perspective, that’s 100 million local queries on Google each day, or 2.8 billion a month!¹

Urban and Rural Consumers are Shopping Local

In the wake of the recession, both urban and rural consumers are looking for smaller, local shops to buy from to support the local economy.²

Local Search is Growing Faster than Overall Search

Local online searches grew by 58 percent in 2008—and has continued to grow every year since.³

Local Mobile Search has Skyrocketed

In January 2011, 77.1 million people used a cell phone or mobile device to find a local business, product or service. That’s up 34 percent from last year.³

What’s So Special About Local Search?

The web marketing industry is discovering what the Yellow Page industry (and local merchants) have known for years—that when a consumer searches for local business information, they are further along in the buying process. They’ve already made a decision to buy; they’re just looking for the right merchant to buy from.

Now It’s Your Turn!

Local businesses can now enjoy the same benefits that global businesses have enjoyed for years. So are you hot or not?

Image credit

¹ Google press release, Apr. 2010
² American Express Research Report, “New Era of Pause and Purchase,” 2011
³ comScore, Inc., “The State of Local Search,” 2011

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