This is a guest post by David Dague.
There has been a lot of talk about the convergence of Social, Local, Mobile – or SoLoMo - over the past few years but the data hasn’t been there to truly support it.
The 5th Annual comScore Local Search Usage Study from Localeze and 15miles set out to explore the SoLoMo landscape, and in particular, the impact tablets and smartphones have on the marketplace.
This year’s study shows that consumers are rapidly adopting new devices and new methods to access local business information, particularly tablets.
As a result, it’s critical for businesses and marketers alike to develop a strategic multi-channel approach in reaching their target customers while ensuring the sanctity of their business listings to avoid an identity management crisis.
The explosion of smartphones and tablets is really shaping the buying behavior in local search.
Most notably, tablet owners are the most active local searchers with 64 percent indicating at least weekly use for local searches on the device and 86 percent of respondents making a purchase from their most recent tablet-based local search.
In addition, the data points to tablets’ impact on the local business search throughout the buying cycle ultimately leading to a higher likelihood of making a purchase.
Counter to that, the research indicated that consumers are using their smartphones to access local business information at the beginning of the buying cycle–rather than at the end.
As with any fast growing technology, particularly mobile, consumer behavior and demand is ahead of the market.
Location-based services, daily deal sites and mobile social network applications will continue to refine their offerings and advertising models, but the data illustrates that consumers still rely on organic local search results for relevancy and trustworthiness.
It is imperative for businesses to maintain a consistent identity across all platforms as these services will continue to share information and seek the most trusted sources for reliability.
About the author: David Dague is Vice President of Marketing at Localeze, the largest online content management company serving local search engines, businesses and consumers.