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GoogleIpsosSterling-Helpful-Search-Result-Info-Oct20143 in 4 consumers who find local information in search results to be helpful report being more likely to visit stores. That’s according to a recent Google, Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands survey [pdf] of 6,000 smartphone users aged 18-54 who have influence in the purchase decision-making process of retail, CPG or tech products and have used the internet to look for shopping-related information. So what exactly constitutes “helpful” information?

According to the survey results, a majority of shoppers would find the following to be very or extremely helpful in search results:

  • Price of item at a nearby store – 75%;
  • Item is in stock at nearby store – 74%;
  • Location of closest store with item in stock – 66%;
  • Details about local stores (hours, phone number) – 59%; and
  • What else is available at the store that carries the items searched for – 57%.

Inventory awareness is particularly important given that 1 in 4 respondents who avoid stores report doing so because of limited awareness of nearby stores or the risk of items not being available.

The study also notes dispels what it says is a myth that once consumers start looking at their mobile devices in-store the retailer has lost their attention. Instead, among the 42% of respondents who conduct research online while in-store, 64% use search engines (meaning that stores can get their attention through search results) and 46% use the retailer’s own site or app.

Another way in which stores can offer a “smarter” experience is by providing personalized recommendations and coupons. Indeed, 85% of respondents say they would be more likely to shop in stores that offer personalized coupons and exclusive offers provided in stores, and 64% would be more likely to shop in stores that offer recommendations for specific products to purchase. Of note, the purchase influence of personalized coupons and recommendations has cropped up in various pieces of research this year.

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