Monday, August 5, 2013

Study Finds Majority of Online Shoppers are Rural, with Few Exceptions

It is no question that the popularity of e-commerce is growing substantially year after year, with reported sales now topping $200 billion annually. While organic search is still the leader for referring online customers (accounting for almost 16% of customers that businesses acquire), many retailers are still shifting from a free-to-paid model and are relying heavily on third-party vendors to drive website traffic. Affiliate sites in particular have grown tenfold, and email marketing is still an effective way to acquire customers. In fact, e-mail customer acquisition has quadrupled in the last four years!

What about social networks like Twitter for customer acquisition? According to a new study by Custora, the lifetime value of Twitter-referred customers is 23% lower than average. And despite the mega-businesses located in coastal cities like New York and Los Angeles, the most valuable online shoppers tend to come from more rural states. It's possible this is because there is less storefront availability in rural states, where major cities likely get a large amount of foot traffic as well as substantial online sales.

Fashion brands break the trend, with their best customers residing in densely populated coastal areas, with a few exceptions. While the usual suspects are high online sales traffic locations for fashion retailers, states like New Mexico and Wyoming rank high for valued online customers as well.

What means are you utilizing to obtain online customers? See all the data shared on states and the value of their e-commerce customers here.

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