Would it surprise you to learn the answers to all these questions involve the Internet? It shouldn't, because they do.
In February, Pew Internet & American Life Project, which has been tracking Internet use and habits since March 2000, released a study on U.S. Internet use based on a random telephone survey conducted from mid-November to mid-December last year. The study found that more than half of the U.S. adult population uses the Internet. That bears repeating: More than half of the U.S. adult population uses the Internet. That comes to 104 million adults.
But there's more, and it gets better!
The study found that among American households earning $75,000 or more a year, 82 percent had Internet access. These households are prime target customers for custom window treatments. What's more, the Pew survey found that 52 percent of the adults who are online had bought something over the Internet. That represents a six percent increase, or 14 million more online shoppers, in the last six months of 2000, the study says. That means there are more than 54 million online adult shoppers and that market is growing rapidly.
So now that you know where your customers are, how do you reach them? The survey results suggest an answer: e-mail. By far, e-mail was the most popular feature of the Internet, used by 93 percent of those 104 million adults. But before you run off to start a mass e-mail campaign, you might want to check out page 94 first. Tom Shay, our Business Management columnist, suggests a better way to reach these customers is with an e-newsletter.
The bottom line, then, is that your customers are online and most of them are shopping. The next time they click on window coverings, will they find you or your competitor?