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Study: Nearly 2 in 3 Facebook Users Visit Local Business or Event Pages Weekly

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Prior to the digital era, it was difficult for local businesses to connect, in real-time, with customers outside of inbound calls and store visits. With consumer adoption of mobile phones and the widespread usage of social media sites like Facebook, local marketers have a variety of new ways to actively reach and engage consumers.

A recent Facebook study of over 6,000 local businesses and over 10,000 people around the world found that 2 in 3 people on Facebook visit the page of a local business or event at least once a week. The study defined local businesses as, “one that isn’t part of a chain, franchise or non-profit and isn’t purely online, but has fewer than five store locations in a single market.”

Additionally, while ecommerce is seeing growth, in-store experiences offer a personal appeal that is unparalleled to digital experiences. In fact, 87% said trust and security was the main motivator for local-based purchases, and 40% said that the store offers a more personal customer experience.

When looking further into the motivations for in-store vs. online, people prioritize things like conveniences, ease and cost savings. According to the survey, the top three reasons people shop in-store are goods being immediately available, goods that are close by and not having to pay for shipping costs. On the other hand, the top reasons for shopping online included not having to leave the house, not being limited to shopping during store hours and comparing costs easily.

Mobile-first shoppers, however, pave the way for opportunity, as they seek to interact with and learn more about a business and its offerings. Eighty percent of people surveyed said they use their smartphones to interact with local businesses, and 14% said they only use their mobile device for this purpose. Mobile-first and mobile-only shoppers are more engaged with the study saying they are 1.54 times more likely to say they’ll write recommendations and reviews.

The social, mobile combo has provided an opportunity for local businesses to interact with customers on a more personal level, no matter where they are. While the study was a focus on how Facebook influences and impacts local shopping behaviors, it was also an exploration into the mobile missed-opportunity for small businesses. With less than half of local businesses optimizing their marketing for mobile, marketers have a major opportunity in this regard.

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