In a fragmented media environment consumers use lots of sources to make local buying decisions. New local media tracking research conducted for LSA explores consumer interactions with search engines, directory sites, social networks and review sites such as Yelp.
While each category drove leads and related consumer actions (calls, visits), some categories yielded more immediate consumer response rates than others. For example, 65% of consumers contacted, visited or made a purchase from a local business after consulting a ratings and reviews site. That compares with 61% for social networks and 59% of consumers for search engines.
These variances may reflect the ways in which consumers use different sites and tools as part of their path to purchase. Purchase intent was likely highest among users of ratings and reviews sites. More users may consult them immediately before making a local business contact. By comparison, search engines are used more broadly and often earlier in the purchase process.