Mobile Satisfies The I-Have-To-Know-Now Craving

Nearly 90% of mobile restaurant seekers make a reservation or call within the day they plan to visit or make a purchase from a restaurant. Smartphone users had the most urgent needs, with 64% converting immediately or within an hour of their mobile search activity, according to a recent study.

The findings from the xAd and Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study show that on tablets, 44% of users convert immediately or within the hour. It turns out that mobile restaurant search behavior has a high conversion rate and is more locally driven than travel or auto. In the travel category, one in five mobile travelers search for local business information. Some 33% look to make a purchase within the day, and nearly half go on to make a purchase as a result of mobile activity.

When it comes to smartphones and tablets, activities differ. On smartphones people typically make calls to restaurants, look up directions and nearby locations. On tablets, people search for ratings and reviews, find online coupons and promotions, and research menu and specific food items.

Meanwhile, three out of five people searches in the restaurant category do not have a specific location or brand in mind, but 75% notice mobile ads. And nearly three-quarters of the time spent with restaurant content on mobile devices is done in application, which means that new surface areas for search will continue to become more important in downloadable apps.

The social foodie — defined as typically male users between ages of 25 and 54 with an annual income of between $50,000 and $150,000 annually — and the on-the-go diner — a largely male audience between the ages of 25 and 54 typically bringing in less than $100,000 per year — don’t use search engines to find restaurants.  Ironically, the savvy patron does. This demographic is quick to search on engines for the perfect restaurant and have more than enough time to check social sites, along with other mobile Web sites and applications. Savvy patrons are largely Hispanic females between the ages of 18 and 24 making less than $100,000 per year.

The restaurant behavioral data support a larger study that aims to measure what consumers report they do on mobile devices, and capture their actual preferences and behaviors based on data from an online survey of 1,500 U.S. smartphone and tablet users and actual observed consumer behaviors from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users.

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