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Xmas shoppers want free shipping

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Friday October 6, 2006 )

The recent eHoliday Mood Survey of nearly 3,000 shoppers during September has found that 75% of online shoppers will be looking for free shipping this holiday season.

In fact, free shipping was cited as one of the most important incentives in their purchasing decisions, with free gifts with purchases also popular.

If you’ve not already planned out your holiday marketing strategy, you’ll want to be quick as 40% of merchants surveyed state that they’ll be ramping up promotion earlier this year than in 2005 and a majority commencing before November 5. This confirms my theory that it won’t be long before we’ll start seeing Christmas advertising begin in earnest around about July :).

Last year, 30% of the eHoliday Mood Survey retail respondents said that they used loyalty programs to drive sales, but the general view was that these programs became most effective during the last couple of weeks leading up to Christmas.

The report summary states that offering a free gift card with minimum purchase just before Christmas also worked well for the small number of merchants that employed the strategy.

As always, email offers will play a big role in the marketing arsenal this year, especially segmented lists and personalized emails based on the activity of a visitor while
shopping online – quoted as being “very effective” for the 15% of merchants that used the strategy last year.

There’s big expectation from online retailers this holiday season, with 50% forecasting sales growth of over 30% on 2005.

As I’ve said in the past, we’ve become so used to phenomenal growth in various stats relating to ecommerce over the last 5 or 6 years, I wonder what happens when they start to taper off – will people declare the sky is falling instead of recognizing that massive growth can only go on for so long? How will the shareholders react? It’s just not sustainable.

Anyway, getting off topic here, so I’ll leave it at that :).

Good luck with your holiday marketing preparations and as I do each year, I offer you my only Xmas specific marketing article as further food for thought. It just provides some points of view you may not have considered when formulating your holiday marketing strategy


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