When Overstock began accepting Bitcoins on Jan. 9, it immediately grossed $100,000 in Bitcoin orders, according to its CEO Patrick Byrne. As he told CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City, “I’ve been hearing from people all over the world — cult followers of Bitcoin — who say they are going to shift all of their shopping to Overstock.com.”
This is hardly a shocker. Bitcoin users are nothing if not rabid in their devotion to the virtual currency. But Byrne’s comments do beg the question—what kind of shopper would pay for a purchase in Bitcoins? What is his income level, does she have a graduate degree, where does he live, does he have children, and most importantly of all, what kind of marketing will he respond to?
Ironically, before Overstock took the plunge, retailers did have some hazy idea of who this person might be.
Starting with the obvious–they were assumed to be mostly male who like gadgets, says Eric Adamowsky, co-founder of CreditCardInsider.com. “The crypto currency community is also predominately composed of those individuals who are interested in computers, technology, gadgets and typically being early adopters across the board.”
Hence companies like Arden Reed’s Tailor Trucks are starting to take Bitcoins as payment. Tailor Trucks, which are in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Boston, make tailored suits using 3D body scanners and personal stylists.
They were also thought to be gamblers if not by avocation than by nature. Hence, the announcement of two casinos — The D and the Golden Gate casinos — recently that they will start accepting Bitcoins at business establishments on site.
It seemed natural to assume many are young – young enough to be students. Hence The University of Cumbria in England’s move to accept tuition in bitcoins – or rather, for two courses that specifically deal with currency innovation.
They have an independent streak. Hence in certain cities and markets, Bitcoin flourishes. In southern Berlin, for example, there is a neighborhood called Graefekiez, in Kreuzberg. It has the highest density of businesses accepting the currency in the world, according to The Guardian, with the type of establishments ranging from restaurants to boutiques to bars. “Kreuzberg is traditionally an area in which people are very politically aware, critical towards existing systems and are constantly discussing and looking for alternatives to them, which makes it the perfect breeding ground for Bitcoin,” a local, Joerg Patzer, told The Guardian.
But now Overstock.com’s is in the mix and how on earth are we to translate that development into a demographically neat data point? Mothers shop there. Grandmothers, teens, teachers, your neighbors. Sure, they have probably been joined by Bitcoin fans, but not all of those $100,000 in transactions were made by the Bitcoin community.