Friday, March 28, 2008

The Brick and Byte Play

In comparison shopping land, we like to throw some big numbers around. Stuff like the market for online transactions reached $175 billion in 2007 and is expected to reach $335 billion by 2012. The shopping comparison game is simple - we provide a service that makes it easy for consumers to compare prices and decide where they want to buy. When they click through to the retailer after conducting the research on our site, they are more likely to buy from that retailer than the consumer who has not done the price research first, say by simply searching for the product in Google or Yahoo. The retailers gladly pay us back for sending these pre-qualified shoppers their direction and we earn our cut of the $175 billion.

How many of us, though, research online and purchase offline? Plenty according to an Accenture study. 67% in fact. In other words 2/3 of us are more likely to conduct research on sites like Pronto and then purchase the product in a retail store. So how to get a slice of that bigger pie and provide ever more useful searching for you? Start including local results in the search results.

Disclosure: I, of course, work for Pronto and yes, I know, local is the new global so we are not alone here. Dig around though, and see the future. Brick and mortar is becoming brick and byte.

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