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New Study Details States That Like to Browse Vs. States That Like to Buy

In real estate, location is everything and according to a new survey by Monetate, it’s pretty important in ecommerce, too.

The EQ3 2012 edition of the Ecommerce Quarterly has some pretty interesting information about how people from different states shop online. Get this, of the top five states that drive the most ecommerce traffic, none of them have the highest conversions. What’s that all about?

The Browsers:

My fellow Californians are responsible for the largest amount of ecommerce traffic on the net. What does that say about us? That we dream big? We love to shop? We have a lot of spare time on our hands?

Folks in Wyoming are barely shopping online at all. Maybe they’re too outdoorsy to spend time looking for new DVD releases on Amazon.

Now here’s the flip side.

The Shoppers:

Here we see that Wyomingers (Wyomingens?) don’t go online all that often, but when they do, they buy it and get out. So basically, they’re decisive people who know what the want and don’t mess around. Us Californians, on the other hand, convert the least. That’s probably because we’re busying eying luxury items we can’t afford. Some of the Real Housewives of Orange County can’t (or won’t) pay $2,000 for a Prada purse.

Here’s one more. The states that use mobile to shop online:

Looks like the South is winning this war while us West Coasters are remaining neutral.

Monetate says that ecommerce stores should customize the online experience based on location. Like pushing umbrellas and camp stoves to the Middle Atlantic shoppers during Hurricane Sandy.  They say you should even go so far as to look at population factors such as median income level, eduction level and average number of children.

That all sounds a little excessive to me, but I get the point. As a Californian, I’m always stuck viewing front pages full of cold weather gear on sites that sell clothing when it’s still 80 degrees outside. Instead of taking a loss on t-shirts, Old Navy could be pushing them on warm weather states while they sell sweaters to everyone else.

Monetate has a couple of other suggestions boosting sales based on location:

• Try developing specific messages around delivery times and fees for visitors based on their proximity to fulfillment centers.
For instance, visitors who live close to a warehouse will get their deliveries within two days, so there’s no need to offer the
option to pay more for expedited two-day shipping. Instead, ensure visitors only see the shipping options, fees, and delivery
times that apply to their specific location so they have the necessary information to make a purchasing decision.

• Act local by testing visible messages that reference the city where the visitor currently is located. Try displaying geotargeted
customer testimonials by highlighting reviews from shoppers in the same area. For instance, a visitor from the Atlanta area
might be more likely to make a purchase if they see a review like this: “‘Great service and fast shipping,’ J. Williams, Atlanta.”

• Highlighting deals and offers that are location-specific can generate hard-to-resist incentives to buy. For instance, many
states have special “Sales Tax Holidays” throughout the summer. Promoting those deals based on visitor location can ensure
the right visitors know about the right sale at the right time.

Have you ever tried geotargeting your sales? I’d love to hear about your experience.

If you’d like to know more about this survey, check out the free report from Monetate.