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Online Research Heats Up to Save Consumers Money– April 29, 2010

The fact that the web has changed how the world shops for everything from tomatoes to toasters is not a mystery to many in today´s "stay connected" lifestyle, the real secret is that the influence of the web´s growth and speed at which it occurs. A recently released report from an outfit called Forrester (a big research name online) said that the web will, at a minimum, influence 53% of all US retail sales by 2014. Internal research here at Treadmill Doctor finds similar data proving this to be the case.

When we first started over a decade ago, the average person was looking at a very high-end piece of equipment and advice in order to prevent their purchase from being a HUGE mistake in the order of thousands of dollars. Over time, the research has trended more to the mass market. Sure, we still have a huge number of people who visit our site to make sure they aren´t making a mistake with a $3000 treadmill or elliptical purchase, but more and more the trend line has shown our real growth in readership has been with those who are looking for more of a classic "value" price point. As this trend has accelerated, we have noticed that the price points that get more and more traffic are lower and lower as the years go by. What does this mean? Exactly what the Forrester report points out?the web is establishing itself as the ´go-to´ point if you want to be smart with your money.

With all that said, we hope the new rules for bloggers and affiliate sites helps clear some of the air and people will openly report their connections with factories. Our goal has always to be transparent and "tell it like we see it" without regard to what it does to us financially. Most people don´t realize it but it costs us thousands of dollars a years from companies that refuse to conduct parts business with us because they didn´t like what we had to say about their products. You would think people could be adults about everything, but we suppose that´s just a part of human nature. If we felt we had to sell out for a few grand of discounts we are missing out on, we would really not have a high opinion of ourselves-and we all know that isn´t a problem with us.

Here´s to the Internet becoming a more positive, educational influence on the public at large and specifically in helping consumers make smarter purchases with their fitness equipment dollars. For the sellers out there that do a good job of educating their consumers, we commend you as well- whether you agree with us or not. In the end, a well-informed consumer that makes a smarter choice to improve their health has a better quality of life and that's what it is all about.