Daily routines on Yandex.Maps

Original Russian language version posted HERE.

Schools and courts, sushi bars and karaoke clubs, churches and theaters — everything operates on a schedule. People are always rushing somewhere trying to fit everything into their schedule, and when you look at all their overlapping schedules and demands, you get a sense of a city’s rhythm. We all have some idea of how this rhythm feels, but it is nevertheless enlightening to look at the actual statistics. For that, we turned to our data from Yandex.Maps for mobile.

The most popular categories people search for on Yandex.Maps don’t change much over the course of the day. Banks, ATMs, fast food restaurants, grocery stores, malls, and gas stations consistently occupy the top lines. But a pattern of differentiation emerges if you start looking for categories whose popularity rises significantly on Yandex.Maps search during certain hours.

We determined which categories typify each individual hour and created two clockfaces based on them, one for a typical weekday and one for a typical weekend.

Methodology

To get our two clock faces, we performed the following steps twice: once for weekdays, and once for weekends.

We took all the search data from Yandex.Maps on mobile devices for 2017 and highlighted the 100 types of organizations that drew the most interest. For each category, we calculated the percent of overall searches that related to that category during the given hour. Then, for each hour, we found the median percent of searches represented by that category over the course of the year. We took that value and divided it into the average weekly search share that category received. The higher that ratio, the more heightened interest was for that category during the given hour. The top categories are those that drew at least 25% more interest during a given hour than they did on average.

From early morning through mid-day, people are busy with either their regular activities or events that take place more sporadically. Some people need to take their kids to school, daycare, or the clinic. Others have to get doctor’s notes, go to court, pay their taxes, or notarize some papers.

From 12 to 2 pm people break for lunch.

When the working day comes to an end, people make evening plans. Theaters, concert halls, bars, etc. top the categories at this time. People who bought something on the internet also search for the nearest delivery points. Those who have pets search for pet stores.

Beginning at 9 pm, pharmacies and nightclubs top the list. Then, at 10 pm – 2 am, the share of people searching for fitness clubs rises significantly above the average. Clearly, it’s easier for some people to find time to work out during these late hours, so searches for fitness clubs don’t fall as sharply as they do for the majority of other organizations in the wee hours.

During the rest of the night, people search for airports, bus stations, and public transport stops (in addition to night clubs). It seems that if people aren’t sleeping, it’s because they are taking night flights or have just arrived in the city and want to find the night bus to get to their destination.

The top categories where interest spikes on weekend nights can be united under the slogan “I don’t have to go to work tomorrow!”. People continue searching for night clubs through 6 am, at which point searches for monasteries also get a boost. This makes sense, as many search for orthodox churches throughout weekend mornings (as they also do for sports facilities). Then, after attending to their souls and bodies, people turn their attention to household needs and start searching for stores and markets. Additionally, there is heightened interest toward cultural and recreational activities on the weekends: people search for parks, museums, theaters, and concert halls through 7 pm, at which point bars and pubs top the list along with pizzerias, karaoke, and smoke shops.

Of course, whereas the top Saturday evening searches consist of pretty similar establishments, on Sundays they are joined by searches for pharmacies and sports clubs. Overall, Saturday and Sunday are pretty similar, but there are still some differences. For example, one of the most obvious Saturday searches is for civil records offices (or ZAGS, as anyone who has attended a Russian wedding knows); from 8 am to 3 pm people search for them much more frequently.

Hopefully, this information will serve you well as you set up your time targeting for your ad campaigns!