Marketers have a great opportunity to become a part of consumers' plans by simply “being there” when the customer needs them. Today’s search behavior is constantly changing, growing to surprising levels. In fact:
- In the last two years, searches for “wait times” has grown more than 120%
- In the last two years, mobile searches for “menus” has increased over 55%
- 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase
- A “list of products” is the most important mobile website feature of local businesses, followed closely by “opening hours” and “price list”
- 69% of consumers between the ages of 18 - 39 use mobile devices to research before they make a purchase
With instant answers always at our fingertips, we have begun to optimize our lives by using search. You may be seeking answers to the best place to go to in the Caribbean, or just wanting to know how to find the best cheesecake in town. People tend to use search as a precursor to just about any experience they embark on. It seems to take away their anxiety; making them feel a sense of self-satisfaction or confidence about their upcoming experience.
According to recent Google research, there are three main reasons that people are so determined to conduct this research before the event. Here is what they report:
It helps them to become more excited. People want to know what they are going to do, where they are going to eat, what others think about the place, and what the location they are going to looks like. They simply want to get a sneak peek at their upcoming experience, whether it’s one day, one month or one year out. They may search for “best places to eat” or “best Italian food.” If they are traveling, they may search for “things to do in Orlando” or “reviews of Busch Gardens.” It’s as though the search becomes a part of the anticipatory experience!
It boosts their confidence. By searching ahead of time, consumers alleviate a great number of question marks that would normally arise had they not done their “homework” ahead of time. This is evidenced by the fact that the search for “wait times” has increased by more than 120% over the last two years.1 It really doesn’t matter whether they’re headed to EPCOT Center, or a new restaurant, they want to know what lies ahead.
**It helps them to enhance their experience.**Some people insist on preparing ahead of time to the point that they know what they will be ordering before they even get to the restaurant. This is most likely the reason that mobile search for “menus” has grown more than 55% over the last two years.2
At Genius Monkey, we have a clear understanding of the importance of being there for those who are searching. We use the data we collect to target users to make sure we are in front of them at the best times. We recognize the importance of staying one step ahead of technology by keeping up on the current trends and anticipating those of the future.
Source 1: Google Trends, U.S., June 2015 vs. June 2017.Source 2: Google Data, U.S., Jan.— June 2015 vs. Jan.— June 2017.