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Telmetrics and xAd are out with the third installment of their Mobile Mobile Path to Purchase report administered by Nielsen. As the first two reports focused on travel and overall results, this one looks at consumer mobile habits around finding a local restaurant.

We’ll continue to unpack this in the coming weeks but there are a few takeaways to underscore. The first is — not unlike the first few studies — the indication that mobility and proximity lead to high engagement and conversion rates for local search.

Specifically, 95 percent of smartphone users conduct restaurant searches while 90 percent of them convert within one day.  64 percent convert within an hour of the initial search.

“With the Restaurant category generating a 90 percent conversion rate among mobile users, as well as 75 percent of users noticing mobile ads, restauranteurs have a pivotal opportunity to drive this ready-to-buy audience toward purchase decisions,” Telmetrics CEO Bill Dinan told us today.

There are also data here that indicate the discovery mode of mobility, as opposed to “name in mind” local business searches. This has all kinds of mobile SEO implications for the keywords that mobile users are applying to search.

“As 3 out of 5 users are undecided on where to dine, business location info such as a phone number, address, and driving directions are particularly relevant for mobile users,” said Dinan. “This is especially important for reaching smartphone Restaurant searchers, 64 percent of whom are looking to make a purchase immediately or within the hour.”

Another takeaway — again consistent with the first two reports — is that smartphone and tablet usage is very different. This is an argument we’ve been making a great deal lately in market forecasting discussions.

The data indicate that not only is this the case, but tablet usage more resembles the PC in terms of user intent and behavior. This varies accross verticals but is certainly present in the current restaurant focus.

“It is key to have separate smartphone and tablet strategies, as consumers’ use of the device for restaurant searches is different,” argued Dinan. “While there has been a lot of focus on the battle between apps and mobile search engines, tablet restaurant searchers rely more on branded websites”

That last part particularly pegs tablet restaurant search closer to desktop than to mobile; something to continue watching closely.  Meanwhile check out the full report, and the requisite infograph below.

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