Why Mobile & Online Coupons are Great for Local Restaurants

Why Mobile & Online Coupons are Great for Local Restaurants

With local searches becoming an ever-growing percentage of all core activity on major search engines, that raises the importance of mobile & online coupons for local restaurants. The coupons entice diners to visit local restaurant sites and that tendency only projects to grow in years to come, boosting sales along the way.

A recent study prepared by comScore for the Local Search Association found that local searches now account for 13% of all core search activity on major search engines like Google and Bing. The growing popularity of mobile and online coupons are key ways that consumers find local businesses.

Mobile Local Search Shows Double-Digit Growth

The growth of mobile & online coupons has seen steady growth in recent years. In 2011, the number of mobile subscribers accessing local business content grew by an astonishing 34%, reaching 77.1 million users. It has continued to grow ever since.

Adding to the significance of this growth is the spike in the number of local mobile content users with GPS-capable devices, which grew to 87% from 76% last year. Accessing local content via mobile applications is also on the rise. While local mobile content users most frequently access local content via a browser (73%), about 56% of local content users do so through an application, up 34% year-over-year.

What are the key takeaways?

  • With so many consumers using mobile to conduct local business searches, local businesses must view mobile as a viable advertising medium.
  • Local businesses should invest in building mobile-friendly websites that enable consumers to easily access their content in mobile browsers. Restaurants, in particular, should prepare mobile-friendly menus and reservations tools.
  • To continue growing, local businesses must be listed among all major online business directories, including Internet Yellow Pages, CitySearch, and Yelp. They should also check to make sure their listings appear in popular local search applications.
  • Given the high percentage of local mobile content accessed by smartphones with GPS capability, local businesses should advertise via location-based advertising platforms such as Foursquare and Gowalla.

Online Coupons Satisfy Customers & Generate Repeat Sales

Online daily deal coupons are growing in popularity, with nearly 4 in 10  local searchers (37%) having purchased one in the past. When broken down, the study found that primary IYP searchers were less likely to report purchasing online coupons for local businesses than business searchers on other sites (27 percent vs. 38 percent).

The most popular types of business coupons include restaurants (56%), retail stores (32%), and tourist attractions (13%). Incredibly, 70% of local business searchers say they’re satisfied with online coupons they purchase. Only 1% express dissatisfaction. A whopping 79% of those purchasing online coupons said they used or visited the local business again after taking advantage of the coupon.

What are the key takeaways?

  • Local businesses need to recognize the value of online coupons as a successful and useful advertising medium to attract new customers. The data shows that customers are universally satisfied with coupons and are highly prone to use them.
  • Local businesses should consider both the short- and long-term return on investment opportunities of a daily deals promotion through Groupon, Living Social, YP.com or another service. Not only could it boost immediate sales from redeeming the coupons, but it also offers high potential for repeat customers.
  • Local businesses should conduct research on which daily-deal site is most applicable to their community & business category. They should then experiment with a variety of different coupons and daily-deal promotion options to see what works best for them and their customers.

As this study shows, the local search space is rapidly changing. Local businesses must stay on top of the latest trends and be willing to take chances on new ways to find customers in order to grow their businesses in today’s environment. Most important, they need to find ways to integrate their advertising strategies across various platforms to ensure they reach potential leads wherever they may be.