With thousands of students getting ready to start their fall term at schools around the world, we thought it would be a good time to examine a few online resources that may help those taking marketing courses. In particular, we offer a list of information sources that are particularly beneficial in providing research data dealing with Internet and technology issues, such as e-commerce, social media and mobile devices. While several of these websites have premium marketing research reports that require payment, all offer excellent research information for free. Students will find the stats and data provided by these sites are quite useful for citations in written assignments and for material included in class presentations.
ClickZ – Stats and Tools
While this is a good all-around information site focusing on Internet, technology and other business issues, students needing to locate research data will find quite a bit to dig into on the Stats and Tools portion of the site. This area contains regularly updated summaries of research on Internet companies, industries and other trending technology news. Each report is also tagged, so it makes it easy to find a list of stories dealing with a particular topic.
U.S. Census Bureau – E-Stats
Short for E-commerce Statistics this site, from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Census Bureau division, offers retail-level e-commerce studies and statistics. However, while most reports are extensive and provide quality information, these reports tend to be time-lagged and examine information from data collected some time ago. For more current data, students may want to look to another Census Bureau site called Census Bureau’s Monthly & Annual Retail Trade. There you will find quarterly e-commerce retail sales data. In fact, a data of the 2nd quarter Retail E-Commerce Sales was just released this week.
Internet Retailer – Charts & Data
While best known for its monthly magazine dealing with e-commerce and online marketing issues, Internet Retailer also provides a nice summary stats section. The site’s data covers several topics including mobile commerce, online marketing, consumer studies, and B2B commerce.
This site will take a little time to understand, but once students get a handle on the contents they will discover a very nice resource. As the name suggests, the key to this site is the graphical display (i.e., charts) of various research done mostly in media fields including television, Internet, radio and print.
Trendwatching – Trend Briefings
Finally, this is an interesting site that produces a monthly consumer trends newsletter and other reports. Unlike the other sites listed here, which tend to focus on U.S. data, Trendwatching takes a worldwide perspective of what is happening with consumers. While they do offer a for-fee premium service with much more detailed reports, their free publication, Trend Briefings, is packed with excellent stats and information.