Are red state buyers different than blue states?

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Your business, like many businesses, has customers all across the country thanks to the Internet. Your job is to find more of them and target your products to the demographics that are most inclined to buy. The problem is that you have limited marketing resources and don’t want to waste money by targeting the wrong group. Should politics be a factor? You would think that the Trump supporter in Texas would share little in common with the Hillary fan from Chicago. A new survey may help you figure this out.

According to an infographic released today by Goodshop, an online marketplace that donates a portion of every sale to more than 114,000 nonprofits and schools, your potential customers in red and blue states are different in some ways, the same in others.

For example, red state people seem to shop travel sites more than their blue state counterparts and favor brands like Tripadvisor, Hotels.com and Orbitz. So if you’re selling travel-related products or services you may find more customers there. Not surprisingly, people in red states consider themselves more independent (doesn’t Texas want to secede?) and want less help not only from the government, but, apparently, from contractors too. They prefer do-it-yourself projects and like arts and crafts stores as well as the big brand hardware outlets like Home Depot and Lowe’s more so than those in blue states. Again, if that’s the kind of product or service you provide…well, now you know where to sell.

Regardless of these differences, there’s one thing that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on: value. Kohl’s, Walmart, Target and Amazon were the favorite brand names in both red and blue states. Sure, they’re huge and dominating. But these are all brands that provide affordable products for daily use and emphasize convenience over specialization. Apparently, there are a lot of 99 percenters out there, regardless of their political affiliation.

The Goodshop survey found a few other interesting facts.Amazon is not in the favorite top 10 brand of Washington Staters…even though the company is headquartered there. In California, See’s Candies ranked in the top three of resident favorites even though the company is relatively unknown outside of the state (see what happens when you focus locally?).

“In a time when people feel divided, it’s nice to know that we’re not all that different when it comes to something as integral to our lives as where we decide to shop,” John Park, Goodshop’s chief executive told me. This is true. But successful business owners also know their demographics too. Judging by this information, there are opportunities for those that capitalize on the differences – and the similarities – between red and blue staters.

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