August 1, 2010, 12:00 AM

Retailers have a growing opportunity to be discovered via mobile search

As consumers resort more to using their mobile phones to search for local businesses, retailers should ensure that their web sites are optimized for mobile browsers, research firm Compete says.

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Nearly one in three smartphone owners have called or stopped into a local business they found using a local search site or app, and close to a third of Android and iPhone owners discovered at least two new businesses they were not previously aware of as a result of using a local search site or app, according to “Q1 2010 Smartphone Intelligence Survey” by Compete, a Kantar Media company that measures online and mobile consumer behavior.


These findings suggest retailers must create the kind of user-friendly mobile experience that will be expected by consumers that use tools highly optimized for mobile, such as local search, Compete says.

“With the increasing popularity of local search, retailers should ensure their sites are optimized for mobile browsers,” says Danielle Nohe, director of technology and entertainment at Compete. “Making it easy for consumers to discover businesses via their devices opens local companies up to a whole new customer demographic, and savvy businesses should make sure they’re maximizing this opportunity.”

The report surveyed 705 U.S. smartphone users and combined their responses with click-stream data of a panel of smartphone users Compete tracks. In addition to consumers’ use of local search, the survey also found that many smartphone owners are quite into mobile social networking. 33% of smartphone owners who use Twitter primarily send tweets via their smartphones, and 33% also prefer to read tweets on their phones.

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