64 Percent of Mobile Restaurant Searchers Convert Quickly

64 Percent of Mobile Restaurant

An online search indicates an imminent sale in the restaurant industry more than it does in any other type of business. A whopping 64 percent of smartphone restaurant searchers convert within an hour, meaning your site must be mobile-friendly if your business is to survive for the long-haul.

Restaurants are consistently the top local and mobile search category according to query log data provided by multiple sources. A recent survey showed found that 95 percent of smartphone users conduct restaurant searches. It also found that 90 percent of these users “convert within the day,” meaning they go out to eat on the same day that they search.

That is not true for shoppers in any other industry, but restaurants are unique. There is a more immediate need.

Perhaps more striking is the fact that 64 percent of those searchers converted either “immediately” or “within one hour.” That backs up a Microsoft-Bing study showing that 70 percent of mobile search users complete a search-related task within an hour, as opposed to a typical one-week turnaround for PC users.

The lesson here is that mobile users are primed for action and you will increase your sales if you make it easy for them to find you. But the behaviors among tablet and smartphone users are not the same when it comes to restaurants. Consider:

  • While 64 percent of smartphone restaurant searchers convert within an hour, just 44 percent of tablet owners do so
  • In the context of restaurant searches, most smartphones are used “on the go” (outside the home) while tablets are used primarily in the home.
  • Tablet users are more likely to look for reviews and menus; smartphone owners are more likely to look for directions or call restaurants.

As indicated, the top activities among restaurant searchers varied by the device. The top three requests among smartphone users included:

  1. Call a restaurant
  2. Look up directions
  3. Look up locations near me

Tablet owners, meanwhile, were much more in “research mode.” Their top three action plans:

  1. Look at ratings and reviews
  2. Find online coupons and promotions
  3. Research menu or specific food items

In addition, tablet and smartphone owners also use mobile websites more frequently than PC owners and spend considerably more time with mobile apps. Accordingly, 70 percent of total time spent with restaurant content on mobile devices took place in apps.

In other words, the mobile web saw greater reach but users were much more engaged with mobile apps. This is a microcosm of larger mobile user behavior patterns.

One of the more interesting findings is that 60% of mobile restaurant seekers had no particular place in mind upon embarking on their research. In addition, 75% of study participants reported noticing mobile ads. So the capacity for marketers to influence mobile user behavior in this category would appear to be great.

The top reasons cited by mobile users for choosing a particular restaurant were the following:

  1. Location or proximity — smartphones: 65 percent; tablets: 52 percent
  2. Price — smartphones: 48 percent; tablets: 48 percent
  3. Good reviews — smartphones: 27 percent; tablets: 43 percent

These findings provide two big “takeaways” for restaurant owners. The first is that needs and behavior are often different between smartphone & tablet users. Tablet owners, by and large, are closer to PC owners in their behavior even though they’re categorized as “mobile” users.

The second generalization is that smartphone owners typically have more immediate needs and are thus “lower in the sales funnel” than users of other screens when it comes to making a purchase.