There was a lot of speculation around the time of the explosion of online retail that this would pose a serious threat to physical stores, with the number of people willing to fight the crowds to get their hands on the items they require dwindling.
Similar fears were raised when it became clear that more and more consumers were using smartphones and tablet devices as part of their purchasing processes.
However, new research has found consumers appear to be using this technology to extend their buying habits, rather than limit them. Indeed, it was shown almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of us now use a mobile device to locate local businesses.
A study commissioned by Neustart and 15miles – and presented in the form of this handy infographic – subsequently attempted to determine what it is these users are searching for and the results they anticipate.
One of the key findings of the study is that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of those conducting local searches are looking for restaurants, while ten per cent are seeking car dealerships or garages near to where they are located.
According to the survey, four out of five searches made on a mobile device lead to a purchase, though this does not mean bricks-and-mortar stores are losing out – nearly three-quarters of searches resulted in the customer entering a physical shop to complete the buying process.
Commenting on the findings, Brian Wool, vice president of content distribution at Neustar, said: “This research may be our clearest indication yet of the ongoing maturation of the mobile market,” adding that consumers now “expect a consistent and navigable search functionality that serves up exactly the depth and quality of information they need”.
So what does this mean for retailers who are looking to establish their online presence' Well, with 65 per cent of smartphone users indicating their searches are predominantly focused on the need to access information on the go, it could be taken consumers do not want to be bombarded with content on these devices. Instead, focus on ensuring basic product/service data and contact details are easily accessible.