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Holiday season ecommerce optimism

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Sunday September 26, 2010 )

Online retailers and forecasters are somewhat optimistic about holiday sales this year.

A recent forecast from Deloitte says retailers should anticipate a modest increase in 2010 holiday sales overall. However, ecommerce sales should fare far better – the company forecasts a 15 percent increase in non-store sales. Ecommerce constitutes about two thirds of non-store sales.

Deloitte says social networks and mobile applications will play a more prominent role in the shopping process and online activity could also play a bigger role in influencing in-store shopping this holiday season.

A recent survey carried out by the The Etailing Group and reported on Internet Retailer shows merchants are also expecting to have a better holiday season than last, but aren’t expecting it to be a bumper period; with only 31% projecting growth of more than 10%.

Free shipping gets a mention in the survey, as it always does when it comes to holiday shopping – with a massive 85% of online retailers surveyed stating they will be offering free shipping in some form during the season.

Over 90% of those surveyed also said they would be marketing via social networks this year and 38% have mobile initiatives planned.

So what will be hot products this year? Who better to ask than Google. According to this article on CNN, the company says it’s already seeing searches spike for particular products, among them, searches for Nerf Stampede are up over 1,700%. In consumer electronics related products, searches for Otterbox have increased 5,000%. Otterbox is a special case for the iPhone.

While this is going off on a tangent, I highly recommend Otterbox iPhone cases. I’ve used an Otterbox case for my phone and it has protected it against a number of incidents that would have seen an inferior case fail and my iPhone smashed (including dropping on concrete – multiple times). It was a lot more expensive than other cases, but worth the money.

Anyhoo, Google also says there is increased comparison shopping this year and folks are really digging around for deals and coupons.


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