Offline Shopping Starts Online

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Online shopping seems to get more popular every year, but people still love to get out of the house and go shopping - and they always will. What's changing is how shoppers prepare for their excursions.

A recent analysis by comScore Networks reveals some important numbers about local search. The study states that 63% of U.S. Internet users (approximately 109 million people) performed a local search online in July, a 43% increase versus July of 2005. What's more, during the second quarter of 2006, 47% of local searchers visited a local merchant after their search - aided by the fact that many local search engines offer location mapping as well.

These numbers are even more important as the holidays draw near. Local businesses will be targeted by millions of holiday shoppers. Simply put, those that take advantage of local search will see more customers than those who do not.

Website Services Magazine published an in-depth article written by Paul Bruemmer about this very topic in the May, 2006 issue.

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