Earlier this week on the “Local Search Is Different” webinar with Marchex and Localeze, I cited TMP-comScore survey data that show a majority of people seek out businesses within 15 miles of their home. In fact this stat is the source of TMP’s decision to name its search agency 15 miles.
Source: comsScore-TMPDM (7/09), n=4,000
But I ran across some other data this week suggesting that when it comes to actual behavior the range is even smaller: six miles.
A study originally appearing in Science magazine used wireless carrier data to examine mobile subscriber movements around town. Most people stayed within a six mile radius (of home):
[R]esearchers looked at customer location data culled from cellular service providers. By looking at how customers moved around, the authors of the study found that it may be possible to predict human movement patterns and location up to 93 percent of the time.
Most customers seemed to stick to the same small area, a radius of six miles or less, but there were a few callers that regularly traveled areas of a radius of hundreds of miles . . .
Customers that stuck to the same six-mile radius had predictability rates of 97 to 93 percent . . .
This shows that while people want and expect businesses to be within 15 miles of home the actual distance that a majority travel to shop and buy is less than half that range.