Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Local Search Could Grow To $13 Billion By 2010 (source: The Kelsey Group)

Will Google dominate local search? How much market share will the IYP's end up owning? Is there an available market play out there for the small upstart to get in and own a piece of the pie? These questions are debated in Forbes this month. The general conclusion - Yes, there is an un-meet need in the market right now to reach mop & pop businesses. The only question is then, who will step up to the plate?

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Local Shoppers Rely on Online Shopping Search Twice as Often as Nearest Media Influences

More interesting W2S research being released from ShopLocal. Within the third installment of the Web-to-Store Benchmark Survey conducted by The Dieringer Group (The DRG), the survey revealed that the number of W2S shoppers has grown by 20%; from 83MM to 100MM. Shoppers also continue to use the Internet, at increasing rates, to research shopping before local shopping trips; relying upon online information nearly twice as often as other media.

Top Media for Product Information Used by Shoppers:
-- Web-to-store internet research
-- Newspaper ads/inserts
-- Local TV ads
-- Local radio Ads

"Consumers depend upon online research to help them decide how, when, and where to shop," said ShopLocal CEO, Brian Hand. "The research shows that most shoppers do both Web-to-store shopping and direct online shopping based on what's most convenient for them. They're smart shoppers looking for readily accessible, trusted and relevant information."

An estimated 100.4 million shoppers utilize the to research products prior to shopping locally. The W2S survey indicates that many of those shoppers purchased locally as opposed to online, for the following reasons:
-- Prefer to avoid shipping costs
-- Did not want to wait for shipping
-- Concerns over product returns
-- Prefer to support local retailers and economy
-- More fun to shop in person at local stores

Products from the following categories are much more likely to be purchased locally after online research includes:
-- Major Appliances
-- Home Improvement
-- Vehicle Parts & Services
-- Cameras
-- Electronics
-- Small Appliances
-- Tools
-- Baby Products

Additionally, 85% of shoppers indicated that they purchase products instore beyond those they researched online. Typical spending is one hundred to two hundred dollars above the products researched online prior to their local shopping trip.