If small businesses haven’t yet embraced local search apps like CitySearch, YellowPages.com and Yelp, new research may change their minds.
That's because a new eMarketer report found there are a number of benefits to local search apps. Most notable is the fact that local searches made from tablets and mobile phones have quadrupled in the past year.
Not only are more people using local search apps more often, but the customers using those apps are a part of an especially attractive demographic. The most frequent users of local search apps were consumers making more than $100,000 a year. Additionally, the eMarketer research found that Internet Yellow Pages users were 51 percent more likely than the average smartphone user to have incomes of more than $100,000.
"Not only were IYP (Internet Yellow Pages) mobile app users wealthier than smartphone users in general — already an affluent group — they were also more likely to make m-commerce smartphone purchases," the eMarketer report said.
The eMarketer research also found that 41 percent of consumers who had used a local search app or Internet Yellow Pages mobile app had made an m-commerce purchase, while just 19 percent of smartphone users had made a mobile purchase.
Those who searched with local search apps also spent more on mobile purchases than traditional smartphone users. Fourteen percent of shoppers using local search apps spent between $200 and $500 and 10 percent spent more than $500 on a mobile purchase. Just 5 percent of smartphone users made a purchase of $200-$500 and 4 percent spent more than $500.
"Finally, since IYP mobile users spend more time searching for information on mobile, they are also exposed to more mobile ads," the eMarketer report said. "One-quarter of IYP users saw mobile ads almost daily, versus 12 percent of total smartphone users. Given IYP users’ affluent skew, heavy purchasing behavior and regular viewing of mobile ads, the audience on local search apps is both highly desirable to marketers — and reachable."