South Africans are open to exploring their options. At least according to the latest “near me” searches, shared by Google's local guides.
It stands to reason that with most of us carrying almost all of the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, in the shape of our smartphones, the way we navigate the world has completely changed.
Where you might previously have had to pre-plan where you’d have coffee with your friends after a bike ride or where to eat after a business meeting, you can now figure it out on the fly.
As more South Africans start using ‘near me’ searches, what are we using it for?
The answer, it turns out, has a lot to do with food and medical assistance. That much is evident from looking at the top 10 “near me” Google searches for 2019 so far:
Top 10 “near me” searches for 2019 to date:
- Restaurants near me
- Pharmacy near me
- KFC near me
- Dentist near me
- Jobs near me
- Parks near me
- Doctors near me
- Spar near me
- Mcdonalds near me
- Postnet near me
The searches reveal how South Africans have come to rely on this location-based search function, with the only non-business related searches in the top 10 are for parks and jobs.
While there is clearly a fair amount of brand love - “KFC” and “Mcdonalds” win the fast food wars, while "Spar” is clearly our favourite supermarket - the number of more generalised searches shows that South Africans are open to exploring their options.
Where previously they might have been stuck going to the first doctor or pharmacy they came across, they can now see all the alternatives available to them.
Importantly, they can also get information like the opening hours of the businesses concerned, ensuring they don’t waste time driving around trying to find an open pharmacy in an emergency, for example.
Ultimately, what the rise of “near me” searches shows is that location-based search has come a long way from the days when people would look for a specific place on a map - with the range of choice making us much more powerful as consumers.
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