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“Nearly all consumers (97 percent) now use online media when researching products or services in their local area, according to BIA/Kelsey’s (www.bia.com and www.kelseygroup.com) User View Wave VII, an ongoing consumer tracking study conducted with research partner ConStat. Among consumers surveyed, 90 percent use search engines, 48 percent use Internet Yellow Pages, 24 percent use vertical sites, and 42 percent use comparison shopping sites.
“The Internet has indeed become an integral part of consumers’ local commercial activity,” said Steve Marshall, director of research, BIA/Kelsey. “The data suggest we’re at an inflection point where the balance of power in local shopping is shifting to online.”
According to the study, on average, consumers are using 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, revealing a noteworthy increase in audience fragmentation. Additional findings include:
- 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 (e.g., business appointment, health-care appointment, auto service or personal service such as a beauty shop).”