TeleNav, one of the largest navigation services providers with more than 13 million subscribers, have released usage data that suggests users depend on GPS navigation for much more than getting from point A to point B -- they also want to find a piece of the pie, literally.
The company's GPS search data sheds some light on the cuisine preferences of American drivers, according to a company statement. Search data from December 2009 showed that pizza is the top food item searched for by customers using TeleNav's GPS applications.
Residents of Chicago led the way in GPS searches for pizza while residents of New York City were most likely to search for the nation's second preferred cuisine type, Chinese food. Rounding out the top five of America's most searched food types are burgers, American food and Mexican food, respectively.
How can pizza operators use that information to their benefit? First they need to make sure their franchise information is completely up to date in basic indexing sources like Yellow Pages and CitySearch.com, from which TeleNav and other GPS products source locational information. If your restaurant isn't listed, said spokesperson Mark Burfeind, it's not going to show up.
But the news also stresses the importance of executives' monitoring brand mentions on user-generated review sites, such as Yelp. Many GPS systems stream that information as a service to users. TeleNav even has its own spot dedicated to user ratings.
TeleNav data from all GPS point of interest (POI) searches for the entire 2009 year indicates that drivers living in or visiting some U.S. cities need more assistance locating local hotspots than in others. Los Angeles took the No. 1 position as the city where most GPS searches occurred in 2009. The Dallas/Ft. Worth area followed in a close second. Chicago, Houston and Atlanta, respectively, rounded out the top five U.S. cities where most GPS searches took place.
An analysis of searches conducted by TeleNav users in December 2009 indicated that Walmart topped the list as the No. 1 U.S. business TeleNav customers sought out while using their GPS service. Starbucks took a close second, proving Americans' obsession with morning lattes and mochaccinos is still quite strong. Two more large retailers, Target and Best Buy, took the third and fourth spots respectively, while Bank of America rounded out the top five most searched destinations in the country.