It’s a ‘Near-Me’ Xmas

Several of the 2019 predictions we received focus on the growth of “near me” mobile searches in the past year. In one sense 2018 could be described as the year of near-me search.

Indeed, Google recently pointed out (again) that “near me” mobile queries containing some variation on “can I buy” have grown “over 500% over the last two years.” The company also said that there’s been “200% growth in mobile searches for ‘open’ + ‘now’ + ‘near me'” during the same period.

This week Uberall released the results of a survey of more than 1,000 US and UK smartphone users. That survey found 79% of shoppers said they’ve done near me searches in the context of holiday shopping this month. The near me percentage was somewhat higher in the US, with 83% of survey respondents saying they conduct these types of searches.

Uberall survey

Among the top near-me searches when people are out shopping include:

  • Restaurants (77% US, 66% UK)
  • ATMs (54% US, 46% UK).

The survey also asked consumers about other ways they use their smartphones when shopping. The top responses were:

  • Compare prices — 80%
  • Buy something on the device — 79%
  • Do product research — 72%
  • Check store hours — 71%
  • Search for deals — 65%

Uberall survey

These smartphone shopping use cases have been relatively consistent in survey findings over the past five years, with the exception of “buying something” and “searching for deals.” People were far less likely to complete a transaction on their smartphones even two years ago. And looking for deals used to rank higher on the list (top 2).

One interesting question that the survey didn’t explore is whether near-me searchers are more open to location sharing than others. (Location and privacy will be a key topic of debate at LSA19.)

The Uberall survey once again reinforces the notion that location data and related business information must be complete (e.g., photos, menus, etc.) and up-to-date. There must also be a sufficient number of recent reviews to sway near-me shoppers on the go.

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