Retail is Looking Up this Holiday Season
Listening to NPR this morning, I was pleased to hear confirmation that shoppers will be willing to spend more during the upcoming holiday season*
The "Great Recession" is over and despite the holiday season’s arrival in the middle of the economic downturn last year, three-quarters of online holiday shoppers maintained or increased their holiday spending – according to Forrester Research. In fact, research suggests that more shoppers will be skipping the mall crowds in favor of Internet deal-hunting, stressing the importance for e-tailers to optimize their online marketing strategy.
Heading into the 2010 holiday season, here are some encouraging ecommerce indicators :
Industry experts at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit predict that this year’s holiday sales will be much ‘kinder’ to retailers than last year’s, with a slight lift in sales
This year alone, according to eMarketer, 162 million US shoppers will research products online and more than 133 million of those will be online shoppers; plus they predict a 12.7% increase, representing a total of $152 billion in estimated sales
US online sales forecasted to reach $248 billion by 2014, with top product categories including jewelry and watches, computer hardware, software and peripherals, consumer electronics, footwear, apparel and accessories
Online sales will continue to “outpace” growth in offline sales as shoppers look for the best prices, richer selection and the convenience of internet shopping. according to Forrester Research
More shoppers going social – According to Shop.org’s holiday study with BIGResearch (last year), more shoppers are on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and 47% of online retailers surveyed will be capitalizing on these very cost-effective advertising mediums
That being said, it's more important than ever for merchants to be competing more effectively on all available online channels, including shopping engines, marketplaces while optimizing their website's findability and overall shopping experience.
Stay tuned for Part 2- Getting your shopping channel campaigns in holiday-ready shape.
Lin, from the stats and indicators you mention, it will hopefully be a successful holiday season for ecommerce! In order to further capitalize on the trend for people to shop online, retailers should look at trying to minimize the impact of shopping cart abandonment.
For most ecommerce sites, rates normally average 70 percent, i.e. 7 out of every 10 people that place items in the shopping cart do not complete the transaction. But last year from Labor Day through November 15, the number of online sales fell by almost 56 percent compared with the volume for the previous month, and the shopping cart abandonment rate shot up, peaking at 83 percent. In response to this, SeeWhy has created a holiday season checklist (http://bit.ly/9Xyl7Z) to help keep customers in the shopping cart, especially over the holiday season.