Intent to thrift? According to data from OnBuy.com — a U.K.-based online value-driven retail marketplace that offers a variety of products (both new and used) at a variety of prices, often at a discount — the U.S. searches almost 1 million times a month for “thrift shops nearby,” and like variations.
The search volume data for 13 countries was obtained using a keyword explorer from Ahref, a competitive analysis tool for search traffic tapped by Shopify, Amazon, eBay and others. Data is gathered each month and updated continually.
The U.S. led with 955,000 unique searches per month, with Germany in second at 338,640, where searches were for “flohmarkets,” (translating to “flea market” in English); that was followed by the U.K. at 103,240; Canada at 70,930; France at 42,560, and Italy at 34,110.
“The data we’ve discovered reveals, firstly, the increasing interest in sustainable living. While the online resale market may only have fully flourished in the U.S., high search volumes around the world prove this enthusiasm is expanding,” Cas Paton, managing director of OnBuy.com, said to WWD.
Data was culled on searches for “secondhand shops or flea markets” “near me” as well, with the U.K. leading with 35.3 percent, the U.S. at 32.4 percent and Australia at 28.6 percent. The percentages reveal how much of the total monthly searches were of local intent and like variations of “near me.”
As to whether the data is due to any one country’s population size or a burgeoning curiosity about sustainable consumption is undetermined. Other relevant search terms include “charity,” “thrift,” “secondhand” (with and without the hyphen or space), “flea market,” “resale,” etc.
The intention to shop at a brick-and-mortar thrift shop is seen with the addition of informational cues such as “near me,” what Ahrefs refers to as the overlooked “ranking factor” companies should be optimizing for in 2019. Local searches have been on the rise at Google.
Just last year, Google Trends revealed the growth in “near me now” searches in the U.S. from May 2013 through April 2018 to be 200 percent in mobile searches for searched that accounted for “now” and “near me.”
As for the online resale marketplaces garnering the most organic search traffic, SimilarWeb a machine-learning-powered, data-driven web site traffic statistics and market intelligence firm found eBay as the leader by 659.1 million total visits for the month of May.
Hoping in-store traffic will mimic the strength of online search, both J.C. Penney and Macy’s are partnering with ThredUp in a pilot to attempt to secure younger shoppers with the secondhand allure.
“I think it is not only smart, but imperative for traditional retailers to adapt their SEO strategies to better align with this content in order to remain relevant and top-of-mind within consumer search,” said Ilana Marks, marketing data analyst at SimilarWeb, citing Walmart (not previously involved with resale) and J.C. Penney (a recent partner to it) as examples of retailers who can optimize their search.
The verdict is, consumers are definitely hunting, but whose assortment will unveil the biggest treasure.
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