97% Of Consumers Use The Internet To Shop Locally
Local businesses that aren’t optimizing their sales process to accommodate online shoppers may be missing out. A new study on the shopping behavior of American consumers has found that 97% of consumers now use online media to make their purchase decisions. Local businesses are particularly affected because the majority of these consumers shop locally.
The study was conducted by BIA/Kelsey in conduction with analytics company, Constat. It was revealed that 90% of shoppers use search engines to navigate their way through the maze of choices; 48% used Yellow Pages while 24% use vertical sites. Comparison sites were also heavily used a whopping 42% of consumers took comparative looks at the potential purchase before walking into a local store.
The growth in use of online coupons is also on the rise and the study found too that more and more people are scheduling appointments online. Director of research at BIA/Kelsey, Steve Marshall sees a particular shift in consumer shopping behavior: “The Internet has indeed become an integral part of consumers’ local commercial activity. The data suggest we’re at an inflection point where the balance of power in local shopping is shifting to online.”
Sites that rely heavily on internet use before an online purchase include Groupon and LivingSocial; these types of companies will be very happy to see study results like these. But perhaps the businesses that stand most to gain are the ones that exist locally. The challenge for them will be how best to optimize their sales and online presence to accommodate this shift.