xAd and Telmetrics Report That Restaurants – the Fastest Growing Mobile Category – is Rooted in Location and Immediacy

xAd | 10 / 03 / 2012

Ongoing Nielsen “Mobile Path-To-Purchase” Study Finds Distinct Behavioral Differences Between Tablet and Smartphone Restaurant Seekers

NEW YORK & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–xAd, a leading mobile-local advertising network, and Telmetrics, the top mobile call measurement provider, today released new data from their ongoing xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study showing that mobile Restaurant search behavior has a nearly 90 percent conversion rate and is more locally driven and urgent than categories such as Travel and Auto. Also, the study revealed distinct behavioral differences between tablet and smartphone mobile Restaurant users.

Smartphone and Tablet-Based Restaurant Activity Varied

While nearly 90 percent of mobile Restaurant seekers convert within the day – smartphone users had the most urgent needs with 64 percent converting immediately or within an hour of their mobile search activity. On tablets, just 44 percent of users convert immediately or within the hour. As smartphones were used primarily on the go (by 3 out of 4 users) and tablets were used mostly in the home, the Restaurant information sought by users varies greatly by device. Smartphone activities are focused on contacting or visiting a location while tablet activities are more research related.

Top Indexing Activities by Device (based on usage index of Smartphone vs. Tablets)


  1. Call a restaurant
  2. Look up directions
  3. Look up locations near me


  1. Look at ratings and reviews
  2. Find online coupons and promotions
  3. Research menu / specific food items

“Although both smartphones and tablets are mobile devices – the tablet’s size and sometimes lack of data connectivity prohibits it from being the portable and always-on device like smartphones,” said Monica Ho, vice president of marketing of xAd Inc. “As a result, tablets have become a preferred device while in the home – with usage reflective of more of the desktop PC vs. the smartphone. As a result, marketers need to consider separate smartphone and tablet strategies when looking to reach the highly engaged and ready-to-buy Restaurant user as consumer needs and immediacy of intent vastly change by device.”

Lower Funnel Mobile Restaurant Search Behavior Locally Driven

Given the immediacy of most smartphone Restaurant searches, 65 percent of users are looking for Restaurant locations within walking or driving distance. Overall, 7 out of 10 mobile Restaurant users were looking for a business location with 66 percent looking for directions and 51 percent looking for a local phone number.

“Calls are a key mobile restaurant activity with more than half of restaurant searchers placing calls and 30 percent saying they contacted the Restaurant or made a reservation by phone on their last Restaurant search,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “Ensuring that consumers have easy access to restaurant phone numbers – whether individually operated or the local franchise – is key to not only securing the mobile consumer’s business in the last phase of their purchase path but also for advertisers to be able to measure mobile traffic and monetize the leads generated.”

The study also revealed three consumer segments that are actively engaging with mobile Restaurant info: The Savvy Patron, The Social Foodie and The On-The-Go Diner. These users access a wide range of social and Restaurant-focused mobile properties when looking for the perfect place to eat, whether on the go or planning ahead.

Additional highlights from the study include:

  • Mobile websites attract the most users, however, almost ¾ of the total time spent with Restaurant content on mobile devices is done in application.
  • The most popular restaurant category/mobile property type is the multi-category review site, which includes Yelp, Urbanspoon and Zagat, among others.
  • 3 out of 5 users access the Restaurant category without a specific location or brand in mind, but 75 percent notice mobile ads.
  • Smartphone users are most likely to engage with ads that are related to something they have recently searched for, or with establishments that are within walking / driving distance of their current location.
  • Tablet users are more likely to engage with ads that offer a deal or coupon or are from a familiar brand.

The behavioral data is part of a greater study, which is the first to measure what consumers report they are doing via mobile devices and capture their actual preferences and behaviors across the Travel, Restaurant and Auto categories. The results are based on data from an online survey of 1,500 U.S. smartphone and tablet users and actual observed consumer behaviors from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users.

More details and report download available at www.mobilepathtopurchase.com

Portions of this page translated by Google.