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2009 holiday online shopping survey

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Friday October 23, 2009 )

With the silly.. er.. holiday shopping season approaching, merchants increasingly turn their thoughts to grabbing a slice of the action.

A recent survey by MarketLive polled more than 1,000 consumers about their shopping habits for the 09 holiday season.

Among the key findings:

– 55 percent of surveyed shoppers plan to do their holiday shopping online this year, up from 49% last year.

– 26% of shoppers plan to purchase more gifts using the Internet, up from 21%

– 85% of survey respondents cited convenience as the major attraction of online shopping.

– Books, clothing, music, gift certificates, toys, and consumer electronics will be the most popular online purchases this year.

– 62% of shoppers stated high shipping charges will prevent them from buying more online.

– 70% said they’ll go to competitors if they encounter out of stock products during their holiday shopping activities.

– Social networking sites will have a huge influence on shopping behavior this year; around 50% higher that last year.

– 88% are willing to forego discount prices for conveniences such as toll free number, live chat, simple-to-use shopping carts, and email alerts when orders are shipped.

A recurring issue I’ve noticed for the last 9 years – shipping. The sticker shock of shipping costs really throws people. Unfortunately, it’s an expense that can hardly be ignored by merchants. While free shipping is a very powerful sales tool, it’s no good to you if it chews up your profit margin on the goods being sold. However, perhaps if merchants can offer free shipping based on $x being spent, then it may not have such a negative effect on their bottom line as it encourages more purchasing.

Shipping isn’t the only issue that sends people clicking away – pick up some more tips on reducing shopping cart abandonment.

Read more of the MarketLive report


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