Online Retailers to Ramp Up Promotions for Holiday Season
October 24, 2012
According to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey, conducted by BIGinsight, 61.6 percent of online retailers will start their online holiday marketing promotions by Halloween, up from 52.9 percent in 2011. Thirty-eight percent will begin marketing their online promotions by mid-November or later. The National Retail Federation's recently released holiday consumer spending survey found more than half (51.8 percent) of shoppers will shop online in the coming weeks—the highest amount in the survey’s 10-year history—and 22.1 percent specifically stated they would begin shopping in October, up from 20.3 percent last year.
According to the survey, 89.7 percent of retailers plan to offer some form of free shipping for online shoppers. When asked which promotions they will emphasize most heavily during the holiday season, 37.5 percent plan to offer free standard shipping with conditions (e.g. minimum purchase), and 30 percent will offer free standard shipping without conditions. In addition to free shipping offers, retailers also will offer promotions that include coupons, limited-time-only deals and discounts on specific purchases. Nearly half (47.5 percent) said they plan to heavily emphasize promotions that offer discounts that include a specific percent off their purchase, and12.5 percent plan to offer coupons with select dollars off their purchase. Additionally, nearly one-third (32.5 percent) said they would offer limited-time-only promotions.
Half (50.1 percent) of consumers polled in Shop.org’s eHoliday survey said they would begin their online holiday shopping by Halloween; another 43.2 percent will hold out on those early promotions and start in November. When asked why they would be more inclined to shop online this holiday season, nearly four in 10 (38.4 percent) shoppers said 24-hour convenience is a main reason, and more than one-third (35 percent) said they specifically choose to shop online because of free shipping. Additionally, 33.1 percent say they don’t care for holiday crowds in stores and 29.6 percent prefer the ease of being able to compare prices.