Have you ever sliced up a potato when cooking?

Analyzing demographics should be thought of in a similar way. There are many different ways you can slice up an audience depending on how detailed you are trying to be and what you are cooking. Typically, marketers are looking for basic information like gender, age, education, income status, and household population (have any kids?). This type of recognition of an audience lets a merchant or marketing professional know what marketplace to use. Comparison engines are the same, except I haven’t seen much information out there, about who goes where.

Male vs. Female Demographic

Besides being sharply divided about presidential candidates, male and female shoppers also shop differently. Companies are taking notice and some are actively responding.

SHOP.COM is an interesting case study here. SHOP.COM primarily reached a female audience, and after studies showed over 70% of shoppers were women, SHOP.COM began to adjust their strategy to suit their audience. Looking to sell some dresses or make up? Perhaps SHOP.COM is the place for you because they are building around female shoppers.

Become also sees a majority of female shoppers, but perhaps not as strongly as SHOP. Other comparison engines like Pronto see a pretty even split, with an audience that is 49% male and 51% female.

Looking for a male demographic? I would be willing to bet CNet sees a primarily male audience, and based on design, I would guess PriceGrabber sees the same (but don’t quote me on that).

Reaching Out to a Minority Audience

Speaking of PriceGrabber, if you are looking for a minority or Hispanic based audience, then PriceGrabber’s PrecioMania.com site may be a good fit. Increasingly companies are reaching out to minorities because, well, there are more minorities now than before. The wonderful thing about the American audience is, they keep changing.

Many of the comparison engines reach out in their own way to different groups, so it’s safe to say that using most large 1st generation comparison engines probably touches on this audience as well.

Gay Comparison Shopping Engine?

Now here is a demographic that is tough to pin down, and quite honestly, I have never seen this in a comparison engine’s media guide. However, I noticed something interesting with a client a few days ago.

One particular item was selling very well at one channel. So much so, that it was beating many other top performing products. I asked my client why this one item, a sailor hat, was selling so well. The client explained its an odd story, but after a few months of selling this item, they realized in working with costumers that this item was primarily purchased by a gay audience.

So where was the sailor hat selling like hotcakes? – NexTag

So, does one product give a case for rock solid proof of a particular demographic? No, but it is worth noticing. As a wise man once told me, think like your costumer and try to understand who they are. Who would buy this item? And for marketers more importantly, where would they go to buy it?

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