Ep 42: Consumer survey indicates that 50% of searches are local, Apple Maps makes discovery push, Apple positions themselves for AR via Maps

67% of Consumers Trust ‘Local Businesses’ More than Internet-Only Brands and over 50% of their search are local; Apple Maps makes discovery push and position themselves for AR

Ep 42: Consumer survey indicates that 50% of searches are local, Apple Maps makes discovery push, Apple positions themselves for AR via Maps
Photo by CardMapr / Unsplash


Part 1 Video Starts 0:13 - STUDY: 67% of Consumers Trust ‘Local Businesses’ More than Internet-Only Brands

Part 2 Video- Starts 8:36 - Apple Maps has increasingly building out discovery features

Part 3 Video- Starts 12:45 - Apple Maps will likely play an important role in the future of AR

Reference Articles:

  1. STUDY: 67% of Consumers Trust ‘Local Businesses’ More than Internet-Only Brands (press release)
  2. The Local CX Advantage -Understanding the hybrid shopper (requires email address)
  3. Apple Maps - the road to discovery
  4. Apple Maps - The road to the future


Greg: Welcome to Episode 42 of the Near Memo. David, Greg and Mike are here as always, although I'm in Berlin, Germany for a special COVID transatlantic condition.  and David and Mike are in the U S but,  as always, we'll be talking about what have you read?

David: Have you rubbed shoulders with David Hansen? Over there.

Greg: Yes. Yes. We'd been palling around hitting the bars and clubs together. Yes.

David: For free entry everywhere you go with, with him as your companion.

Greg: That's right. so we'll be talking about search social and commerce, and there's a little bit of a special Apple Maps,  AR metaverse discussion today, a little bit of a dedicated discussion.

So I'm going to start off with something that I put in the newsletter for today, which we've yet to publish.  about some research that, that I did at Uberall, a  survey that I drafted. I don't go into it in a lot of detail. There's just a couple of points that I pull out, but it's really interesting survey the findings that are quite interesting.

one of which is we asked, we asked 4,000 people in four countries, UK, us Germany, and France, same questions. And we asked them among others.  you know, w which business, which types of businesses are you more inclined to treat? So do you trust, you know,  e-commerce businesses versus traditional stores that may have any commerce,  dimension and 67% of people,  across the board said that they were two thirds.

In other words, said that they were more inclined to trust businesses that had a physical location, you know? So that makes a lot of sense, intuitively it's just interesting to see.  and we asked them lots of questions about their expectations of different categories of businesses and their e-commerce versus traditional shopping habits.

and of course the data point that I always like to pull out, people say two thirds of people say that they're more inclined to buy something online. If there's a store there for them to take it back, which ties into one of the other pieces that I,  am writing about, which is the sort of separation of Saks and Macy's e-commerce and traditional store operations.

that's for, for later. So,  I wonder what I'll

Mike: mixed model like Amazon and Kohl's would surface as a trust factors. Okay. Well, Two calls the other day. And it was like super easy. I didn't have to, didn't have to put in a box, I dropped it off. They packaged it and did it

Greg: right. Same with whole foods. So they do that with whole foods as well.

Amazon is an outlier because Amazon's brand is so strong. I mean, I think a week ago or so there was a report on the loyalty of Amazon shoppers and it's really unlike anything else.  you know, so we didn't call out particular brands. We just asked them online versus off. But Amazon is really not an exemplar of all e-commerce businesses because its brand strength is so powerful and it's

David: almost everyone has experienced sending something back to Amazon and it's pretty easy.

So I don't,

Mike: convincing me to go into Kohl's. I mean, just because it used to be so easy to return, but I live in a rural area then. Right. Great,  infrastructure around here. And Kohl's is obviously they've incentivize me to go to Kohl's, which I found. Interesting

Greg: cheapest. Yeah. So the, so the real thing I want to say that was just sort of preamble stuff.

I mean, if anybody wants to request the report that we did from the survey, without going through the lead form,  just send me,  send me an email.  I forget what. Near

David: me and you, your mental Sterling and your media here

Greg: near media.co.co. So you can send me an email and I'll send you that give you the,  give you the research.

but the thing that I wanted to bring up today is, is the, is the finding about local search, sort of the percentage of local search. So Google over time has said 20% of search volume is local. 30% is local. Marissa Mayer said 40% at one point,  there was,   internal Google.  conference that was private and, and somebody tweeted 46% of, of Google reported.

46% of search has a local intent. And Barry Schwartz pick that up in one of his blog posts, but that was never confirmed. And what their official position is,  is nearly a third of mobile search has a local intent. So they're not even talking about the desktop. SoI, I'm just frustrated by all these numbers and sort of the waffling and inconsistent.

So we, we and surveys are imperfect obviously, cause it's not behavior, but we ask people,  we, the verbatim question was something like now I don't have it in front of me. Unfortunately, Hoffa. It was, it was like, what, what percentage of your,  search activity we named Google,  is, is, is, you know, concerned with businesses activity.

events in your area. So in other words, we were trying to give, give the, you know, commercial and non commercial interests stuff. And we bucketed the responses, you know, 10 to 20, 20 to 30, 30 to 40, 40 to 50, up to a hundred percent and 10 in sort of 10 point increments. And so people could select one of those and what we, what we got across the all four countries was a pretty consistent response, which was also very interesting.

There were subtle variations, but. And so 69% of people across four countries, 4,000 responses said that at least half of their searches were focused on their local area. And there were quite a few people that were in the upper end of that range. You know, we had 20% of people saying at least 80% of their search volume was local.

So what that tells me, it's not a search volume number, but what that tells me is that really,  People are most people are doing, at least half of their queries are focused on stores, things to do places to go directions, whatever it is, which is Mo, which is a much bigger number. I mean, it's sort of close to the 46% number that very, very wrote about, but it's a much bigger number than Google has acknowledged in the past.

And I just

Mike: has a self-interest in not acknowledging how much it was the local. W w

Greg: why do you say that Mike?

Mike: Well, I think that they're, they're concerned about antitrust and competitive situation. They have a huge advantage in local, and I think them a few suffocating, how much value they get out of the local and they're pushing to products and local the investment.

They haven't exactly. They have a huge advantage there. And I think as much as they can infuse the gate, that.

Greg: Yeah, so a little bit of a conspiracy conspiracy.

Mike: Okay. The conspiracy, I think it's in their business interest to not be fully transparent about the huge amount of local search that's going on

Greg: and there's virtually nothing else.

Yeah, go

David: ahead. I was going to say, I think that's probably true given the speed with which they tried to shut down the, the leak of that 50% number or 46% number several years ago.  I mean, That's something that you shouldn't really care about gets out. It's just, you know, it's not like it's,

Greg: it's not giving competitive

David: advantages advantage to any particular SEO trying to game the system.

Right. But I think it does give some, some intelligence to Google's real competitor, Amazon,  in, you know, where their, where their weaknesses lie.

Greg: But doesn't it also bring more people into Google my business now, Google business profile and encourage people to advertise, do local ads and so on and so forth.

I mean, if there, if, if businesses, especially small businesses see the kind of volume doesn't that encourage people to buy them. I don't th I

David: mean, I don't think that's, I don't think that's necessarily true as Mike,  you know, case study found,  you know, 90% of leads are coming from. Even when you show the data to businesses, they don't believe it.

They still think Facebook is where the party is. So I think,  with enterprises now that might be true. You might be able to get more budget for, you know, local inventory ads and those sorts of things. But usually that's a technical hurdle, not necessarily,  an appetite or a priority hurdle,

Greg: so. Alright.

Alright. So it's time to move on. And with that,  reference to Facebook,  I think. David you were going second, is that correct? Or

David: I think Mike was going to go second.

Greg: Okay. Well then I'll, I'll switch. I'll do a different segue there. Wasn't

David: really a good segue.

Mike: There is a good segue. Is that while Google is dominant in local, there's another, there's another cowboy in town that is largely under the radar and they are flexing their wings in this.

Is, is that a mixed metaphor? It probably is.  but regardless. Yeah, regardless, I've been spending a lot of time off since the release of apple iOS 15 last in September, I've been spending a lot of time looking at it,  doing,  a presentation for local U and a report I'm doing for new media next week.

Looking at Apple's move into the discovery aspect of the local. In IRS 15, they had a number of new features in maps, including new place cards, enhanced place cards, enhanced guide. New filtering options on category searches and they knew explore layer in the maps, which is explicitly about discovery. And when I went to look at analytics and the only EPL is largely dark in analytics, but I looked at a number of businesses.

And what I found was on average, 5% of their website traffic was coming from dark apple traffic, which meant that it was likely coming from an apple reference point of something. Prob, maybe maps, maybe the other local search features they have. And in some categories like hotels, restaurants, and spas, it was as high as 20%.

And if you assume that some of that 20% is coming from maps, then you also have to assume there's even more activity occurring directly on maps, where they're just calling. So that apple is now sending a fair bit of. More, I saw more traffic from apple than I saw from Yelp or Facebook on these and every site, regardless of the type of site and apple has started to after many years of fixing the map.

So it was decent and navigation and now has become re pretty good at business recovery. They're starting to move into the discovery mode with enhanced user interface and features. And I think it's interesting. And I think that it portends a. You know, and a longterm direction for apple. Cause they never do anything like Google where they throw it at the wall and then they scrape it off.

Six weeks later, apple builds it one brick at a time. And so I see this brick building and maps as indicator of a strong commitment to discovery and men using maps for discovery in going through.

David: Yeah. And it it's a real acceleration over the last year of these, of the brick laying, right? I mean, we've seen the, the, I don't know if you'd call it a radical overhaul or whatever apple maps connect,  the reviews announcement, not too many weeks ago.

And then these new iOS features, it seems like apple really is serious about local at this point. And, and to your point, Mike gets, you know,  hidden underneath the surface kind of iceberg situation, even with the, if it's 5% traffic, right? I mean, think about how much traffic you get directly from GMD,  versus the number of leads that GMB is responsible for you theoretically should apply that same math to that dark traffic from apple.


Mike: and I've heard from two independent, a number of independent sources over the last month that apple will be releasing local internet. At least through their larger partners in the near future, early 20, 22.  and I heard this from totally unrelated conversations. So I tend to believe it. I mean, it wasn't the nature of the conversation, but I think apple is going to start providing metrics around this at least to some of their bigger partners, which I think will accelerate the understanding that it's having a role to play perhaps larger than Yelp, larger than Facebook.

And second, only to Google in terms of discussing.  and I think it plays into their bigger dream of the future, which would segue over to you, David.

David: I'm glad I didn't have to take credit for your idea, Mike, which I never would have done, but,  so Mike Mike's article forthcoming, I was lucky enough to get a preview of the, of the draft.

And,  I think Mike, you make the really interesting point that apple is, is positioning itself or staking, a good chunk of its sort of, you know, company bet on the future. AR augmented reality, as opposed to what we've all we all talked about with Facebook, as far as VR virtual reality. So apple is betting on the, on making a better reality as opposed to an alternate reality that is digital,  which Facebook is, seems to be doing.

and that tied in with an article from John hanky,  earlier this week, or maybe it was last week.  the former Niantic labs,  or I guess current Niantic labs, CE.  former Google maps, former Google maps. So that basically the inventor of Pokemon go,  if there is a single person who invented PokemonGo.

And so that strikes me as a real interesting, sort of very different worldview of the future of what,  of what, how digital either shapes or replaces reality in the future.  and, and I think it's a really interesting position for, for apple to see. I also want to throw in one more thing before I hand it back over to you, Mike, to explain more about that kind of ties in a little bit with,  Google's recent labs reorganization that they announced where,  I don't know how to pronounce his name.

Unfortunately, clay before,  who ran a lot of important projects at Google, some of Google's best products,  and has been responsible for there, Greg, you and I were blown away by the demo of this,  Okay, very realistic. Three-dimensional video chat, video conferencing system. So he's now in charge of this new AR VR division of Google.

So not like Google is ignoring this, but I think that there's sort of maybe still hedging their bets on, on which one of these futures might win out. So

Mike: it's a good, good thing. His first name isn't her.

Greg: Herb or, well, you know,

David: right there,

Greg: let, let me, let me,  let me just opine here for a moment, Mike, you can, you can jump back in.

I mean, I don't, I don't think this is, these are mutually exclusive. Obviously the interesting thing will be to see which w where the traction is because there are going to be metaverse environments. You know, gaming is all. In the, you know, already there with VR.  but we will see certain, I believe there'll be certain limited use cases where BR will be appropriate and adopted, but th but Facebook's notion of the metaverse, which is just this all encompassing successor to the term current internet.

I think that's never going to, I think that's never going to materialize. And, and, and then the another interesting point that was made in one of the articles,  was that now Facebook and apple are direct competitors in terms of hardware. Their visions for the, you know, mixed reality and so on and so forth.

That'll be very interesting to see play out because Facebook has far less trust than apple in terms of its it's far

Mike: less real-world developments. You know, I don't know if you know this, but I mentioned in my article that by squeezing my wrist and clicking my fingers, I can drive my watch to do things right.

But those actions can literally call it. My watch to execute programs or clicks. And that's a critical element of this augmented world that we're talking about is some sort of wearable that can interact with it also in the new FaceTime and in all their music, their earbuds are now spatially aware so that you can, when you're in a conversation, you hear the direction the conversation is coming from, even if it's on the screen and they have a number of, they have the whole.

phone platform that has,  AR capabilities top to bottom across the whole platform with enough power to drive it. And they also drive their own chippy ecosystem. So the. Power demands of this technology. Apple's in the best position to moderate that through system design and software design. So unlike Facebook, who's trying to build a product or several products.

Apple has an ecosystem of hardware and software into which AR is already there and being developed. And I just don't. I see it as, as one of, as above Avalon noted apples game to lose, but I also see AR. Technology and not what apple is going to focus on. When you look at how these companies think about this stuff, you know, you look at augmented reality, for example, and I think Amazon thinks about it as augmented commerce and Google thinks about it as augmented search and Facebook thinks about it as augmented Zuckerburg or augmented Facebook, whatever, but apple thinks about.

And as you barista has, this may seem as their ability to augment humanity using this technology. So from Apple's point of view, they're likely to come. That's tools or series of tools that use this, but don't focus on this as the primary benefit. And I could see this as being value in medical care. I could see it as being value in exercise and personal health, as well as driving and all that sort of stuff, and mapping particularly useful and mapping at an individual level as well.

So I see this technology has spread across their whole platform and useful across their whole plan. Two people in a not obvious way. Right? We'll see.

Greg: W we won't talk about all the black mirror, like privacy implications of all of

Mike: this, just because they think their vision is less dystopian doesn't mean it will be less dystopian.

It could be equally dystopian.

Greg: I there's no question that that augmented reality has some very interesting use cases and will be valuable in a lot of situations. We just need. Thoughtful and careful. I mean, I'm, I'm struck by how alarmed some people are about the Facebook vision for the metaverse. I mean, you know, they're extrapolating from, Facebook's kind of current bad behavior into some addictive future, all encompassing future.

And people are saying semi hysterical things like, you know, it has to be stopped, that kind of thing, you know, which is just, which is kind of, kind of interesting.  I mean, we'll, we'll, I don't know whether we're talking about a 10 year timeframe at 20 year time. Some, some version of the metaverse will come to pass and whether it will be truly dystopian or only somewhat just open as another.

It's another question for another time I suspect, but I'm I'm yeah. I'm excited to read your articles, Mike. I haven't had a chance and I'll be doing that after we, after we conclude today and,  looking forward to publishing them,  probably early next week. I suspect since.

David: Friday, they get Thanksgiving reading with your scotch around the fire.


Mike: you're going to be in Portugal for Thanksgiving.

Greg: No, no, no, no, no. I'll be back in California with my family. I'm only going to be in Portugal for, for a couple of days,  in search of my ancestors.  I'm going good luck or smell. Good personal

Mike: journey that I did.  remember what 42 is, which is this current episode, the meaning of life is from the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy

Greg: chemo, a movie.

So I did 42 that I think. Was mentioned before we ever got on, just for people who, who it was, who don't have a good way. People who think

David: there was not a segway there whatsoever.

Mike: There's a close, it's a close, it's a close that's right. We're talking about the meaning of augmented life.

Greg: That's right. Yeah.

Okay. All right. Well, have a great missed it for all our American friends have a great augmented Thanksgiving

David: and great real Thanksgiving as well.

Mike: Yes, same.