Nearly Half of Local Consumers Conduct Four or More Search Activities, New Study Finds


Nearly half of consumers (49 percent) looking locally for national products and services have conducted four or more search activities, and nearly one out of four (24 percent) have conducted six or more, according to new research conducted by IDC (International Data Corporation) on behalf of YP℠, a leading local marketing solutions provider.

The findings of the survey, called “Local Search: Unleashing Opportunities for National Brands,” further reveal that consumers are performing these multiple searches across multiple sites and apps on multiple devices from multiple locations.  36 percent used two or more devices (smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop), 35 percent conducted local searches from two or more locations (home, work, shopping, on the go) and 27 percent did two or more additional offline searches.

“The customer journey is not a straight line any more.  Instead, today’s consumers are zigzagging,” said Karsten Weide, Program Vice President, Digital Media and Entertainment at IDC.  “This zigzag approach to local search is a universal phenomenon, and what’s interesting is that it is equally true across categories and demographics.”

Local Search Means More than Search Engine

Of those surveyed, roughly two of three (64%) said they started their searches outside a general search engine, often using more specialized or topic specific sites instead.  Furthermore, the searches happened at a rapid pace, with 86 percent completed in one day and 63 percent completed in less than one hour.

Mobile Matters Even at Home

Even though multiple devices are used in the local search process, the findings show smartphones are used in all locations, including at home at a high rate (86 percent,) while shopping (57 percent), on the go but not shopping (47 percent) and at work or school (47 percent).

“Local search is all about location, relevance and timing,” said Luke Edson, SVP of National Markets Group at YP.  “As consumers shift devices and platforms to find what they need at any given moment, marketers need to be able to present their brand in the right context, and that means working with new partners and new kinds of measurement, such as clicks, calls and store visits.”

Luke Edson and Karsten Weide will be presenting key findings during the workshop “ZigZag: The New Consumer Journey Zeitgeist” at Advertising Week XII in New York, and will reveal additional insights as part of the discussion.  To learn more about the research click here.

About IDC Local Search: Unleashing Opportunities for National Brands

As consumer behavior spans multiple devices and platforms, it is critical for brands to understand the local search process, consumers’ engagement and the conversions that occur. To better comprehend these dynamics, YP commissioned IDC to survey 750 U.S residents age 18 and older via an online survey conducted in August-September 2015.


About YP

YP is a leading local marketing solutions provider in the U.S. dedicated to helping local businesses and communities grow. YP’s flagship consumer brands include the popular YP℠ app and, which are used by more than 70 million visitors each month in the U.S. (Internal Data, May 2015).  YP solutions include online presence, local search, display advertising, direct marketing and print directory advertising.  YP solutions and services are backed by thousands of media consultants and customer service professionals in local markets across the U.S. with relationships spanning nearly half a million advertisers.  For more information on YP, visit us at   Follow us on Facebook: and on Twitter: @ypforbusiness.



Barrie Rosen


Meredith Obendorfer

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