Shoppers to start holiday shopping earlier thanks to online
Retail Editor 2 -- Home Textiles Today, October 24, 2012
Washington D.C. - Online retailers are giving shoppers a reason to get a head start on their holiday shopping with early offers of free shipping deals and other exclusive web-based promotions starting this month.
The newly released 10th annual Shop.org eHoliday survey, conducted by BigInsight, found 61.6% of online retailers will start their online holiday marketing promotions by Halloween, up from last year's 52.9%, while 38.4% said they will begin marketing their online promotions by mid-November or later.
The surge in early online shopping for the season is spurred by consumer interest. The recently-released holiday consumer spending survey by Shop.org's parent, National Retail Federation, found 51.8% of consumers will shop online in the coming weeks - the highest amount in the survey's 10-year history - and 22.1 % specifically stated they would begin shopping in October, up from 20.3 % last year.
"For retailers, there is no better time to shine than the holiday season, and it's evident that online retailers are already planning to go the extra mile for their customers this year," said Vicki Cantrell, executive director of Shop.org, which polled 2,988 consumers from Sept. 26 to Oct. 11 as well as 40 online retailers from Sept. 25 to Oct. 11.
"Consumers can expect even more of an integrated shopping experience this holiday season with companies also looking to enhance their mobile marketing efforts to capture the attention of the millions of holiday shoppers who are already thinking about their shopping lists," she added.
Shop.org expects a heavy emphasis on free shipping this holiday, with 89.7% of retailers planning to offer some form of free shipping. When asked which promotions they will emphasize most heavily during the holiday season, 37.5% said they plan to offer free standard shipping with conditions - such as minimum purchase - 30.0% will offer free standard shipping without conditions.
Nearly half the retailers surveyed (47.5%) said they plan to offer discounts that include a specific percent off their purchase and12.5% plan to offer coupons with select dollars off their purchase. Additionally, 32.5% said they would offer limited-time only promotions.
Shop.org found, 30.0% of online retailers said their free shipping offers will start earlier than last year.
Overall, half (50.1%) of consumers polled for the survey said they would begin their online holiday shopping by Halloween; another 43.2% will hold out for those early promotions and start in November.
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