Local Shopping: Why Are People Surprised?

Andy Beal repeats a Yahoo! stat: 92% of conversions happen offline. People often react to this type of news as if they were being told that aliens had landed on planet Earth. What?

The most recent Jupiter report on e-commerce also features a bit of this kind of surprise. The Internet is not driving relentless e-commerce growth at the expense of traditional shopping. The Internet is a research tool that is influencing local shopping in physical stores. E-commerce, rather than offline shopping, is in danger of stagnation as various startups try and solve the online-offline equation.

I’ll say it again: the future of online shopping is offline.

I’m now working with a startup that has found a novel and potentially quite successful way to capture the connection between online marketing and offline transactions. Until now that has been limited to coupons or phone tracking (a proxy for offline transactions) or complex, comprehensive sales tracking reserved for sophisticated advertisers (even then they don’t really do it).

3 Responses to “Local Shopping: Why Are People Surprised?”

  1. Jordan McCollum Says:

    Hi Greg. Thanks for the trackback. AFAIK, the only stats on offline conversions before this indicated that online research drove ~1.5x as much offline commerce. 11.5x is a pretty substantial difference.

    One more note: I wrote write that particular post on MP. Thanks!

  2. Martin Garcia Says:

    I believe this is where local websites from merchants will play a vital role in uniting the community with commerce.

  3. earlpearl Says:

    We’ve run a b&m for over 20 years. The website is about 11 years old. We’ve tracked sources of business for the entire 20 + years to know where to put advertising money.

    About 5 years ago inquiries through the web started climbing. It dominates everything else. Prior to this most advertising was through local newspaper, YP, and other local sources/some tv, some radio…we tried everything.

    Contacts are overwhelmingly through the web. My bus. site is highly optimized showing up for all sorts of organic phrases. We are buying ppc. Since our organic rankings are invariably better than any IYP we don’t do that…but we would if organic rankings weren’t so high.

    Web links from topical and relevant local sites drive relevant business.

    Most customers call us while they are at work. Pre web are calls were a function of the most powerful aspect of our advertising and followed a different pattern. Nowadays its amazing how many calls or email contacts we get roughly between 11 AM and 3 pm.

    Typically conversions occur after 2-3 web visits. Astonishingly, some visitors (and conversions) visit the site 15-25 times. (ugh)

    Its so easy to cruise the web. That’s where customers go today. Even if web info isn’t as thorough or comprehensive as the hard book YP…customers go there all the time. They are migrating to mobile access to the web.

    All our sales are offline. Every one of them.

    Whether the sales are on line or off line consumers will find the business off the web.


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