The 46/18 Rule Of Online Shopping: Big Shoppers Buy More

from the not-so-catchy dept

The famous “80/20” rule is often misquoted or misused in amusing ways, but it’s generally used to mean that the top percentage of some group add up to a lot more than the “long tail” beneath them. In some ways, this is quite obvious. After all, the richest 20% of the population will obviously own more than 20% of the wealth — otherwise they wouldn’t be the richest 20%. What was really interesting about the original point of the rule was the degree to which the top 20% mattered (80% according to the rule). So, is it nearly as interesting when the numbers aren’t nearly as extreme? A new study is touting the fact that 18% of top shoppers represent 46% of online sales. Why those numbers? That’s not clear. Basically all this is saying, again, is that top shoppers spend more — which is something of a truism. It would be a lot more interesting if they showed the entire breakdown and how it changes as you go up the population. Why just look at the 18%/46% point which seems like an entirely random data point? The article claims these people are the “Most Valuable Shoppers,” but nowhere is it explained why this was the cutoff point.

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Comments on “The 46/18 Rule Of Online Shopping: Big Shoppers Buy More”

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Rikko says:

No Subject Given

Took me a second read, Mike, but I do agree with you. It’s pretty arbitrary and kind of silly. You’d think if there were such a sharp statistical dropoff right there that that itself would be of more interest.. Alas.

I especially loved Nielsen/NetRatings calls the heaviest buyers MVPs?Most Valuable Shoppers. I guess I’m getting too old for acronyms these days.. I still pretend an acronym is a series of letters representing the first letter of some words.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

An acronym is supposed to be initials that are spoken like a noun. Like NASA, LAMP, or ICANN. MVP is not an acronym in the academic sense because we say M-V-P spelled-out; not “emm-vipp” or something. Popular buzzword culture has appropriated the term “acronym” to mean anything with initials whether it is spoken as a word or not.

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