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Four Out of Five Online Holiday Shoppers Want Free Shipping

Four Out of Five Online Holiday Shoppers Want Free Shipping

According to results of the 2005 Shop.org/BizRate Research Online Holiday Mood Study, this year's most popular online promotion will be free shipping, which 79 percent of online retailers plan to offer during the holiday season. This promotion is in line with consumers' desires, as almost four out of five online shoppers said that free shipping offers are an important factor when deciding where to buy.

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Scott Silverman, Executive Director of Shop.org, said "Online shoppers are clearly motivated by promotions like free shipping, gifts with purchase, and special online offers... Because companies have planned for them as part of their overall marketing strategy, these promotions will not come at the expense of profits."

All of the companies surveyed expect to see online sales increases from 2004. Some retailers are expecting big gains, with 19 percent of online retailers expecting holiday sales to double from 2004. Another 54 percent of online retailers expect to see growth between 20-99 percent.

According to t he survey, 28 percent of online retailers will start their marketing earlier than last year, with a majority (60%) planning to begin holiday marketing by the end of October. This is closely in line with consumers' shopping habits, as half of consumers surveyed will start their online holiday shopping by the end of this month. More than one-fifth (21%) of consumers surveyed acknowledged that they started their holiday online shopping earlier this year than last.

  • 56% of consumers surveyed begin shopping for a particular item or gift at a specific merchant's website
  • 37% of shoppers will start with a search engine
  • 18% start at a comparison shopping site
  • 19% at an auction site/shopping portal
  • 29 percent of consumers plan to start their online shopping via stores or catalogs

"Retailers understand that they need to focus some of their marketing efforts on online shopping tools, where many consumers start their shopping," said Chuck Davis, Chairman of Shopzilla

According to the survey, 92 percent of pure play retailers will advertise offline this year

  • 63% of online retailers will use catalog mailings
  • 61% include in-store materials
  • 59% will use direct mail to drive traffic to their websites
  • 54% will also be investing in magazine advertising
  • 41% in newspaper
  • 35% in television
  • 32% in radio advertising.

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