Last October I wrote about a strange phenomenon occurring at my store, Electric Pixels. I had examined my traffic counter and found that the age of my visitors was gradually increasing over time. At that time I speculated that it was perhaps due to:
- 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 thought it was time to revisit the data, especially after reading this paradoxical article in New World Notes. Here's the result in 2D graphical form: the customers are continuing to get older. Virtually no newbies come by, as the majority of the customers are now 1+ years old. In SL, I mean!
The NWN article suggests another cause may be at work: there simply aren't as many newbies any more! Also, I suspect another factor may be at play. The new signups may have a disproportionate number of alts created by existing avatars, and they do their shopping with the main avatar that has the fattest wallet.
We all do this, don't we?