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To begin with, here’s is some recent consumer data from the Pew Research Center:

    The commercial use of the internet by American adults has grown since the mid-2000s, with 58% of Americans now reporting that they perform online research concerning the products and services that they are considering purchasing.
    That is an increase from 49% who said they conducted product or service research online in 2004. Morever, the number of those who do research about products on any given day has jumped from 15% of adults in September 2007 to 21% in September 2010. From February 2004, the number of adults conducting research on any given day has more than doubled, up from 9%.
    Additionally, 24% of American adults say they have posted comments or reviews online about the product or services they buy, indicating a willingness to share their opinions about products and the buying experience with others.
    “Many Americans begin their purchasing experience by doing online research to compare prices, quality, and the reviews of other shoppers,” said Jim Jansen, Senior Fellow at the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and author of a new report about online product research. “Even if they end up making their purchase in a store, they start their fact-finding and decision-making on the internet.”

I’ve written a little bit about the importance of having an online presence if you’re in business, and also about how Radio and the Web work together, but I wanted to share some general thoughts as we get closer to the Holiday shopping season.

  • Now may be the time to consider casting a large net with traditional media advertising, (Radio, Print, Outdoor etc.) enticing consumers to connect, and learn about you online.

With economic signs suggesting consumers still want to do more saving than spending during the Holiday’s, it will become that much more important for consumers to be able to “touch” you online, and for your business to provide them with something of value at reasonable cost.

That ‘something’ could be as simple, and as FREE as information.

Now may be the time to really pour energy into updating your website, or your online space, with information that consumers will find truly helpful as they navigate their Holiday spending.

  • Are all of your product/service specs listed and up to date?
  • Is your contact information correct and easy to locate on your site?
  • Will you be offering any special coupons or discounts to Holiday shoppers?
  • If it makes sense; are your customers able to purchase online?

You’ll be a step ahead of your competitors if you pour effort into your online presence… or you may be several steps behind them if you don’t.