Outdated and incorrect business data misleads UK consumers

Eight in ten consumers encounter incorrect information about a business when searching online, a new study reveals.

With smartphones increasingly the digital tool of choice when it comes to searching for information about businesses data or services, a new survey from Yext has exposed critical inaccuracies in important online business data.

The survey, carried out amongst more than 2,000 UK consumers in October, reveals that as many as eight in ten encounter incorrect information about a business when searching online. Tellingly, nearly half (43.2 per cent) of the consumers in the survey said that this was not a rare occurrence.

In fact, a Yext scan of business listings across the UK found that 65 per cent of large UK businesses have incorrect addresses listed online. The problem is not restricted to large organisations, as 67 per cent of smaller businesses have incorrect addresses listed. The incorrect information doesn’t stop there–33 per cent of large businesses list incorrect phone numbers, and 61 per cent of small businesses face the same challenge.

A third (34 per cent) of UK consumers reported that the piece of information that was most often incorrect was opening hours, with approximately the same percentage identifying products and services information as the most often inaccurate piece.

Consumers were very clear about where they consider the responsibility for accurate location data to lie. Just under half (49 per cent) blamed businesses themselves, clearly expecting businesses to ensure their important details are kept updated.

Only 20 per cent of survey respondents thought that this was the responsibility of the search engine or app where the incorrect data was showcased. This perception of responsibility signifies a key risk to businesses reputation with out-of-date information.

‘Consumers rely on mobile search to get the business data they need quickly, and they expect it to be reliable. Our research has shown that businesses with out of date location information online are risking their relationships with customers and their revenue,’ say Jon Buss, managing director for UK and Northern Europe at Yext.

‘Our research shows that UK businesses are falling behind the US, with twice as many incidents of incorrect information displayed, so they need to address this issue urgently.’

The business data also show that mobile phone use in looking up businesses is on the rise, with 73 per cent of 25-34 year-olds saying they are more likely to use a smartphone rather than a desktop device.

Further reading on getting online

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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