If 97 percent qualifies as "everyone" (and it very nearly does), then everyone is using the web to enhance local shopping. Among consumers surveyed in a study conducted by BIA/Kelsey and ConStat, 90 percent of users use search engines; 48 percent use Internet Yellow Pages; 24 percent use vertical sites, and 42 percent use comparison shopping sites.
Small wonder that new local web tools are appearing with increasing frequency. Just yesterday, Foursquare joined the fray, offering local analytics tools to merchants.
Full results of the survey are not yet available, but some interesting data points were made public.
- On average, consumers use 7.9 different media sources when shopping for products or services in their local area, up from 6.5 sources in 2009 and 5.8 in 2008.
- 58 percent of respondents report using an online coupon when shopping for products or services in their local area in the past year.
- 19 percent of respondents report making an appointment online in the past six months for a service other than a restaurant reservation, such as a business or health-care appointment, auto service, or personal service such as a beauty salon).
This last item is of particular interest, given the ability to make appointments online is anything but widespread. Clearly, it's a site function consumers are prepared to embrace once adoption increases.