Posted October 24, 2011 4:59 pm by with 3 comments

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Online sellers and shoppers are both optimistic about the upcoming holiday season. According to’s eHoliday survey 68% of online retailers say they expect to see growth of at least 15% over last year.

On the consumer side, data from the National Retail Federation, shows that consumers plan to do 36% of their holiday shopping online. This is an increase from 32.7% in 2010.

Fiona Swedlow of says,

“There’s no question consumers are eager to hit the Web this holiday season, and online retailers are prepping by optimizing their sites, beginning their marketing and promotions early, and planning plenty of free shipping promotions as they aim to provide value and convenience for their shoppers. Online retailers will also leverage their social media and mobile platforms for savvy shoppers on the go, knowing how important customer reviews and comparison shopping applications are to holiday shoppers.”

Timing is Everything

If you think holiday promotions start earlier every year, it’s not your imagination. 52.9% of retailers say they’ll start their promotions by Halloween. This is up from 40% from last year.

Nine out of ten retailers said they’d be offering free shipping this holiday season and one-third will be doing it sooner than later.

The Social Mobile Mix

This holiday season, mobile shopping will be hotter than ever, and 51% of retailers say they’ve “significantly invested” in mobile-optimized websites. Only 19.6% have invested in tablet apps, but 35.3% are using QR codes to bring in customers.

Social is as hot as ever with 72.5% of retailers building up their Facebook presence and 41.2% going the Twitter route.

This might be overkill, though, as only 29.2% of consumers said they would check a company’s Facebook page for holiday shopping information. 65.1% said they read customer reviews on the company website, so that’s an area that needs your attention.

Why Online?

Why do consumers want to shop online? 43.2% said it was 24-hour convenience. The added incentive of free shipping made 36.3% want to spend more online than they did last year.

Consumers also said online was a great way to avoid the crowds and it was easy to compare prices, so they knew they were getting the best deal.

Halloween is only a week away and then we’re on the full-speed, downhill run to the biggest gift giving days of the year. Is your company ready?


  • 36%? WOW! But why not? I love the fact that I can get all my shopping done and not have to worry about getting into the stores, dealing with the crowds.. Just click, click, BOOM! Shopping done.

    • We’ve noticed an increasing comfort with buying bigger ticket items online. But the key is to lower the risk by offering free shipping. The fewer the obstacles, the higher the conversion rate.

  • I hope I get a market share of that 36% (IE: Lots of presents!). I wonder what the rate of increase has been since the dot com bubble burst.