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Free shipping a favorite

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday November 8, 2008 )

Hope springs eternal they say and many online retailers, armed with a fistful of marketing strategies, have chosen to take an optimistic view of the holiday shopping season ahead.

The 2008 eHoliday Study, conducted by Shopzilla for Shop.org, found 56.1% of online retailers expect their holiday sales to be up at least 15% over last year. That figure isn’t as high as last year, but given the recent financial disaster it’s a suprisingly good level of optimism.

The most popular conversion and marketing strategies to be used this year:

– 78%: free shipping with conditions. This has always been a favorite among consumers and while shipping is more expensive this year, retailers are renegotiating and/or switching freight providers, upping the minimum qualifying purchase value or cutting back on other forms of promotion in order to keep offering free shipping.

– 42.9% have added or improved site search facilities since last holiday shopping season.

– 42.6% are using product videos

– 32.7% are publishing customer revieews

– 27.1% Added or enhancement of clearance sale pages

– 25.0% of online retailers implemented a Facebook page this year.

On the consumer side of things, the eHoliday Study surveyed over 2000 online buyers and found the main reasons consumers will shop online to be:

– 58.6% Convenience with 24/7 shopping

– 41.1% Avoiding crowds

– 36.4% Easy price comparisons

– A third stated free shipping as the main reason

This year, a whopping 23.1% stated they are likely to spend more online due to increased gas prices. This result was over double last year (9%). However, competition for consumer dollars will be even tougher this year, with 20.1% stating they have less money to spend this year for the holidays.

You can read more of the eHoliday Study 2008 here

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