One of the most common myths about the Yellow Pages is that usage has declined significantly in recent years; however, this could not be further from the truth. Recent studies from the Local Search Association, the largest and most trusted trade organization of print, digital, mobile, and social media, show that the number of Yellow Pages users searching for local businesses has actually increased. In addition, a 2010 study by CRM Associates has revealed the following:
- Users of print directories spend about 25 percent more than average consumers.1
- Users of Internet Yellow Pages spend about 34 percent more than average consumers.2
To understand why Yellow Pages users spend more than consumers who make purchases through other venues, it can help to know some details about what drives these customers to use the Yellow Pages over other sources.
Life Events Cause Yellow Pages Users to Spend More
One of the main reasons that Yellow Pages users spend more than other consumers is because they make purchases during certain life events and in out-of-the-ordinary situations. For example, a research by CRM Associates shows that people who are recently separated or divorced are 3.3 times more likely to use a print directory than those not undergoing this hardship. Additionally, recently married couples are 2.4 times more likely to use the Yellow Pages to make a purchase.3 These types of consumers use the Yellow Pages because they are looking for a specific service or product, which means they are more likely to make a purchase.
Headings Determine Consumer Spending
Another thing that determines consumer spending for the Yellow Pages is the heading under which a business owner advertises. For example, the recent study by CRM Associates found that consumers who look under the “pizza” heading spend about 30 percent more per year than average pizza customers because of higher-frequency purchases. However, users of the “mattresses” heading spend about 26 percent more per year than average consumers because they purchase mattresses that are more costly.4
While consumers may appear to spend less per purchase overall because of the recent recession, the relative expenditure of Yellow Pages consumers compared with all buyers has remained consistent. Even though spending through other venues has declined in rough economic times, Yellow Pages users still spend more than the average consumer does.
1CRM Associates; Simmons Spring 2010 National Consumer Behavior Study