In our “digital consumer” era, customers juggle between devices throughout the day. As a result, the way people connect with local businesses is changing fast. Google’s recent Pigeon update strengthened the impact of “local” in consumers’ online searches and consequently, local listings started ranking higher in Google SERPs.
But being found isn’t the only thing listings facilitate. With new functionality and tools, listings are making it easier for consumers to actually interact with businesses directly on the SERP. The focus is shifting from displaying information to actually facilitating customer interactions and these new transactional relations are possible thanks to innovative services like online scheduling, and other call-to-actions (CTAs).
In a recent article on Street Fight, Greg Sterling, VP of strategy and insights at LSA, predicted online scheduling would be “much more prevalent for SMBs” this year. In addition, a recent Google-Ipsos study showed that 61% found click to call extremely important during the purchase phase. And one of the main reasons why consumers want to call a business is to schedule an appointment (51%).
As listing sites begin to explore adding more functionality to search results like online scheduling, it is worth exploring which business segments are most likely to adopt booking systems. Lucky for you, we have figures.
We asked one of our partners to share the list of the most represented segments on their directory site. In parallel, a partner surveyed 7,000 local online directory advertisers to identify the segments with highest interest in adopting scheduling tools. This is what we found:
We see that the segments with the highest potential for adoption coincide directly with the prevalent business categories present on local business listings. To me, it sounds like a clear indication that CTAs are the next stage of evolution from search to transaction.