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Grow Your Business Technology

Mobile Users Demand the 411 on Local Businesses

If your business doesn't have a mobile website or app, you may be missing out on collecting a significant chunk of change from consumers. A new study shows that smartphone users expect more from their mobile devices than they do their desktop computers, including timely information and feedback on local businesses.

The survey results also suggested that people want more than just listings and standard reviews while they are on the go. Once they are no longer anchored to their desktops, the survey reported, mobile users are also highly interested in answers to subjective, time-sensitive questions regarding businesses and places of interest such as, “How long is the wait for a table?”

Increasingly, the smartphone trumps the desktop in terms of proving immediate answers. Among a national cross-section of mobile phone users polled by Harris Interactive on behalf of Ask.com, two-thirds of survey respondents said they are more likely to ask timely questions when they are not in front of their computer. And more than a quarter (30 percent) of them leverage their mobile phones to access the Web more than they use their desktop to access the same information.

Their questions are urgent. By a landslide, smartphone users indicated that when looking for information on their mobile device, they need it immediately (81 percent). There’s an even greater sense of urgency among the 18- to 24-year-old age group; they say they need immediate information 100 percent of the time.

The information they seek needs to be fresh as well, the survey authors report.  It is important to a significant percentage of mobile users that reviews of local businesses are current and timely. Four out of ten smartphone users told the pollsters that they are more influenced by users’ opinions given within the last 24 hours than users’ opinions provided a month or so ago. That figure jumps to 67 percent for the “immediate gratification” 18-to-24 age bracket.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.