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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Charleston Leading the Way with eBay

Scarborough Research, the leading consumer research firm measuring the lifestyle and shopping patterns, media behaviors and demographics of American consumers, released an analysis which finds that the South reigns for eBay Visitors.

Charleston, WV, is the number one local U.S. market for eBay Visitors. Forty-four percent of adults in Charleston, WV who accessed the Internet during the past month are eBay Visitors. Nationally, almost one-third (31 percent) of Internet users are eBay Visitors.

Scarborough’s local markets are based on DMAs, or Designated Market Areas, which include a city plus its surrounding counties. “Many of the market areas where eBay ranks highly include more rural counties, so Internet shopping may provide a convenient way for consumers who live in more outlying areas to satisfy their retail needs,” said Gary Meo, senior vice president, Internet services, Scarborough Research. “Utilizing the Internet – a global medium – to target and engage consumers locally is considered a top priority among leading Internet companies.
Local information that clues in to the unique lifestyles, demographics, retail patterns and media habits of Internet users is useful to any brand seeking to expand its business online through local targeting.”

Accroding to the report, eBay Visitors are among the Internet’s top spenders, and they are more likely than other Internet users to be young and male. eBay Visitors are 37 percent more likely than the average Internet user to have spent $2,500 or more online during the past year. They are 16 percent more likely to be ages of 18-24, and 12 percent more likely to be male.

The difference is that eBay Visitors are more likely than the average Internet user to buy online, particularly in big-ticket categories. For example, eBay Visitors are 71 percent more likely than the average Internet user to have bought a vehicle online during the past year. In fact, more than half (53 percent) of all online vehicle buyers are eBay Visitors. Additionally, they are 71 percent more likely to buy consumer electronics online, and account for 53 percent of all online purchasers in this category.

On a local level, eBay shoppers also have distinct online buying habits. In Charleston, for example, the top online buying categories for eBay Visitors are clothing/accessories (32 percent of Charleston eBay Visitors bought clothing/accessories online during the past year); books (32 percent); CDs/tapes/music (19 percent); computer hardware/software (14 percent); and toys/games (14 percent). Charleston’s eBay Visitors account for a whopping 62 percent of all of the city’s online consumer electronics buyers, and 60 percent of Charleston’s online computer hardware/software buyers.
[The above information was excerpted from a press release from Scarborough Reseach Corp., July 31, 2007]

What does this mean for Charleston businesses? One does not have to be a marketing genius to see that any legitimate business better have a Web presence. In addition, it means that e-commerce is very real, even in smaller, more rural markets like ours. I believe that it also indicates a potential opportunity for Charleston merchants, especially those selling electronics, software, clothing, books and music. What if local merchants could capture some of this market, offering local service and presence on top of immediate availability! The means and the tools to do this exist. We can utilize well-placed Internet ads and paid-search phrase mechanisms like Google Ad Words to get in front of these Charleston online shoppers.

If you are looking for valuable insights like these for your West Virginia business, talk to Maple Creative. We are the state's only licensed Scarborough/Arbitron partner among advertising and PR firms. We'll help you take the guesswork out of understanding your audience and their habits.

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1 Comments:

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