While thousands of Americans will stand in lines for hours to save on a new TV at Best Buy or a new dryer at Sears next week on Black Friday, I can’t say I’ll be amongst them. I value my sleep too much and I’ll be in the same boat as millions of other Americans that will do their holiday shopping online.
While online holiday retail deals have been around for a few years now, this year’s holiday eCommerce growth is predicted to spike, compared to last year. Forrester predicts sales will increase for online retailers by 15 percent this Christmas. After reading up on the trend, it seems like this growth can be attributed to a few different factors.
Mobile: Many consumers prefer to do their holiday shopping on the go, and with retailers continuing to make their websites mobile-friendly, this trend is only on the rise. According to IBM’s Coremetrics Benchmark numbers, the amount of people who use their mobiles to visit their favorite retailer’s site has jumped from 4.2 percent to 11 percent, since last year. IBM’s study also reported that luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) for Android users, they will do just about as much mobile shopping as iPhone lovers this year.
Social Media & Email: Online retailers will utilize Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and email marketing to lure consumers to their sites with flashy discounts and deals. According to a survey by B2B solutions provider, Alibaba, 42 percent of retailers claim they will use social media channels as a primary driver of sales. Specifically, Facebook (61 percent), Twitter (21 percent) and YouTube (13 percent) are the most popular social platforms retailers will use. A few weeks ago, Rachel blogged about how big-name retailers were leveraging social media for Halloween marketing campaigns. As the season of giving approaches, I predict we’ll see even bigger campaigns executed by retailers like Sears and Target complete with contests, deals, games and new ways to engage with your favorite brand.
Economy: While there have been obvious improvements over the last 12 months, the economy has yet to bounce back completely. Not surprisingly, the shaky economy is the black cloud over many consumers’ heads when shopping for gifts. According to a few recent holiday surveys, consumers are expected to be conservative with holiday shopping this year due to rising food, gas and utility prices. Additionally, consumers plan on spending the same, if not less than they have in past holiday seasons. Therefore, online retailers with deals, discounts and no shipping fees will surely come out on top.
What about you? Do you plan to take a few trips to the mall this holiday season or will you do all your shopping at home in your pajamas?