My Customers are Getting Old!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I've been using one of those "Traffic Meter" gadgets at my store in Caso Milo to track the number of visitors. It's a very interesting device because it sends the data to a website which records the information regardless of whether Second Life goes down or not. You can visit the website ( to obtain a detailed report of visitor counts from your Traffic Meters.

The TrafficMeter can be obtained at no charge in Dirty, courtesy of the developer, Mark Barrett. By the way, you can also pick up the very useful SLStats wristwatch near that same location - it automatically tracks the places you visit and the people you encounter. According to my SLStats today, I've visited 839 sims and encountered 5,788 people so far.

Up to now I've really just been observing the total number of visitors per day. Generally the traffic has grown over time, but it's always up and down.

However, I noticed a strange effect taking place over time. In June when I installed a Traffic Meter at my Caso Milo main store there was a very typical mix of ages among the visitors. In subsequent months the ratios changed - in a consistent pattern. The ages of the visitors are definitely increasing as you can see in the chart.

Why would this be happening? I have a couple of theories:

  • The same set of customers continues to visit, and they simply get older over time? (This can't be true because inspection of the transaction log shows few repeat long-term customers. Yes, there are repeats, but the majority of customers are new to the store.)
  • Perhaps as my avatar gets older and more experienced, he makes more sophisticated products that attract a more sophisticated clientele? I'd like to think so!
  • As knowledge of these products increases via word-of-mouth, older avatars become aware of Electric Pixels and come by to shop? If so, where did the young ones go? This graph might be indirect evidence of word-of-mouth viral promotion, which is typically not easily measurable.
  • Perhaps the more recent arrivals to Second Life simply don't buy as much as those who joined earlier? We know that Linden's policy changes have affected the makeup of the Second Life residents somewhat - maybe this is one of the side effects?
I think a combination of the latter three are causing this aging effect at my business. But it is a little disturbing to think that new arrivals are not spending as much as they used to. Is this happening elsewhere in other stores?


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