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The Google Consumer Barometer says it ! Internet and smartphones: New tools to bring customers into your store Web-to-store_thanks_to_smartphones

The latest edition of Google's consumer barometer confirms how useful web-to-store and mobile-to-store strategies can be to bring customers into stores. 

The publication of numbers specific to the French and Belgian markets gives us the opportunity to observe the emergence of behaviours already well established in the United States: the increasing importance of the smartphone as a browsing tool, and the consumer's tendency to do research online before buying in store

The smartphone, a web surfing tool in its own right

First observation: the use of these tools is now part of the daily lives of French and Belgian consumers. Today, only 45% of French Internet users say they use their computer or tablet more often than their smartphones to go online. 31% use all three equally, and 16% say they use their smartphones the most. The numbers are not as high in Belgium (58%, 25% and 13%, respectively), but the observation remains the same in both countries: the smartphone has become a web surfing tool in its own right. Only those over 55 seem less affected by the smartphone phenomenon, but even in this age group, more than 1/4 of the population has a smartphone. 

Research online, purchase offline

Another trend on the market: the omnipresence of online research prior to the purchase: close to 2/3 of consumers do research online before buying, compared to just 1/3 in store. But contrary to a still common misconception, these online searches often lead to a purchase in store: 28% of consumers who started their research online ended up buying the product in store

Want to find a store near you? Go to the Web! 

In light of this information, it becomes clear that providing correct information online is crucial for French and Belgian retailers.  Over 3/4 of consumers turn to a search engine when it comes to finding a store near them. A third of consumers then search for the store's business hours and its exact address, and about half look up prices for the products they want. Therefore having a complete and up-to-date website is essential. Finally, while the computer remains the preferred local search tool for now, the smartphone should not be neglected: one in five consumers say they already do these types of searches. 

A good way to start: Google My Business.

Google is the number one local media where customers are looking for your stores. Get to know more on how to drive web-to-store traffic thanks to Google by following our webinar:

Google My Business webinar