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Mobile search is becoming increasingly important as more consumers shift away from laptops and desktops to find restaurants. Alexander Green, vice president of marketing at Richmond, British Columbia-based Boston Pizza, spoke recently with eMarketer’s Sean Creamer about mobile search’s rise to prominence in the Canadian market.

eMarketer: When did Boston Pizza develop a mobile-ready site? Why did the company decide to put together a mobile site to go beyond just having a usual desktop/laptop site?

Alexander Green: We launched our mobile-ready site about four years ago. Our overall approach is to engage with our guests in the channel and in the manner that they want to be engaged with, and we’ve increasingly seen this trend toward mobile build momentum over the last six to eight years. Now it’s a critical part of the way that our guests engage with us as a brand.

eMarketer: What does mobile media mean to Boston Pizza?

Green: Our strategy is to build the platforms that create the mobile experiences our guests are looking for, and those expectations are only increasing. For us, that meant not just creating a mobile-ready or responsive website.

“In the last two years, and in particular the last year, the rate of growth of the mobile channel for us has been astounding.”

Fifty percent of mobile searches happen late afternoon to evening, and 45% of those people will make a purchase, often within 1 hour of making that search. So we see this dynamic happening more where not only are our guests engaging us through mobile, but mobile is very closely associated with a purchase decision.

eMarketer: Generally, on any regular day, about how many guests come to the website?

Green: From a mobile standpoint, about 60% of our traffic on our digital touchpoints are on owned platforms, like our mobile site and our app. On top of that, because we offer takeout and delivery—and a good portion of that is managed through an ecommerce site—right now we’re seeing about one in three orders come in to our ecommerce site from a mobile device. The amazing thing is that number grows about 80% every month.

In the last two years, and in particular the last year, the rate of growth of the mobile channel for us has been astounding.

eMarketer: People who search for Boston Pizza, are they looking for location, deals or both?

Green: The core drivers of our sort of search traffic haven’t fundamentally changed over the last handful of years. We’re still seeing the searches driven by location, food, takeout and delivery as a service that we offer, as well as offers and deals. What has shifted with mobile is those searches [happen more frequently].

Alexander Green, Vice President, Marketing, Boston Pizza

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