Nine in 10 online retailers (92.5%) say they plan to offer Free Shipping this holiday season. The National Retail Federation, citing a survey conducted by BIGresearch, notes that this figure is up from 84.8 percent in 2010.
Online Retailers Prepare for Holidays
The Study, conducted by BIGresearch for Shop.org, surveyed 1,685 consumers from September 19 – October 7, 2011 and 51 online retailers from September 22 – October 14, 2011.
“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,” said Shop.org head of research Fiona Swerdlow.
The survey found that 52.9 percent of online merchants, plan to start their holiday marketing and promotions by Halloween. This figure is up from the 40 percent who planned to do so last year. And by mid-November, you can expect another 37.2 percent to being their marketing blitz.
Consumers Will Shop Online
Data from the National Retail Federation found the average shopper plans to do about 36 percent of their holiday shopping online, up from 32.7 percent last year. This is good news for the online retailer.
Four in 10 shoppers (43.2%) said 24-hour convenience was their main consideration for shopping online, when asked why they plan to spend more online this holiday season. Free shipping also draws more online shoppers, with 36.3 percent stating that they will spend more online this year if shipping is free. Shoppers also prefer the ease of online shopping: 37.2 percent sited the fact that they didn’t have to fight crowds while shopping online; and 29.6 percent noted that it was easier to compare prices while shopping online.
Holiday Shopping Starts Now
Consumers are starting their online holiday shopping early this year. Forty percent say that November is when they will start their holiday shopping, and 19 percent claim October. According to preliminary reports from Experian Hitwise, adults age 55 and older accounted for 26 percent of the retail traffic during the period of September 19 – October 15, 2011. Heather Dougherty, director of research for Experian Hitwise, says that 27 percent of the traffic came from consumers with household incomes between $60,000 and $100,000 and 24 percent came from households with annual incomes over $100,000.