Fred Thiel Interview: Consumer Search Patterns via Desktop, Tablet, Smartphone

Fred Thiel Interview Consumer Search Patterns via Desktop, Tablet, SmartphonePerhaps in the future we’ll have more designations for the kinds of training people go through in life. We all start out having to be “potty trained.” Then there’s job training, of course. But the one thing marketers already acknowledge is that more and more of us are Google-trained.

That doesn’t escape execs like Fred Thiel, Chairman and CEO of Local Corporation, a local advertising technology company that works to connect consumers and businesses through products and services such as and Krillion, a local shopping platform aggregating data from 120,000 stores.

In a recent eMarketer interview, Thiel talked about the “conditioning” modern consumers have undergone.

“Consumers are definitely conditioned to use Google or another search engine for search on desktop—excluding travel searches,” Thiel says. “For travel, we see more mobile usage, and in that case, they’re usually using an app which is specific to whatever travel site used such as KAYAK or TripAdvisor. That category is pretty much the first to be “appified,” as some have termed it.”

What about shopping and getting basic information?

“When it comes to shopping and general discovery, on desktop it’s still Google or a search engine, or a particular shopping or deal site when the customer wants something specific,” Thiel notes. “To quantify, 73 percent of product research is done using a search engine, 33 percent is done through specific shopping sites, and 24 percent is through apps.”

When eMarketer’s interviewer asks Thiel about the goals of retailers when it comes to consumers searching via mobile, he says “Most of the top 100 retailers have omnichannel programs in place, with sophisticated and well-developed ecommerce sites and brick-and-mortar stores.”

In other words — according to Thiel — a sale is a sale, and that’s what counts.

“More and more, with retailers like Wal-Mart and Target, the brick-and-mortar location is becoming a localized distribution center,” Thiel explains. “It doesn’t matter if you’re buying online, picking up in-store, having something delivered in a store or ordering it online for home delivery. Retailers just don’t care. What they care about is that the purchase is made, and they’re setting up their systems so that omnichannel becomes the core mantra.”

There are more juicy tidbits here.