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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 19, 2009

Ho-Ho-Humbug for etailers this holiday season?

Etailers hoping the upcoming holiday shopping rush will present a huge, well, present to their bottom lines this year may wind up with little more than coal in their registers. According to a recent Nielsen report the upcoming holiday season will likely reap only moderate benefits to etailers as consumers continue pinching pennies and whiling away more dough for the winter.

by Kristina Knight

"While the economy appears to be improving at a snail's pace, it's apparent that many consumers intend to spend less and save more this holiday season. In fact, some 42% of respondents stated that compared to a year ago they were planning on spending less money on holiday gifts, compared with only 4% who intend to spend more," ">writes Ken Cassar, Vice President of Industry Insights with The Nielsen Company.

According to the yearly survey only 63% of consumers plan to shop online this holiday season, down from nearly 75% in 2007 and 7% say they 'will not' shop online, up from 1% over 2007 numbers. Only about 30% are undecided about shopping online this holiday season.

To combat this trend, etailers need to know what offers work with consumers and which will fall flat. The Nielsen report suggests that most shoppers are going online to compare prices, which is an indicator that comparison shopping engines are going to be a big factor in the holiday spend. Consumers are also going online to find sales/promotions and even coupons for products. Fewer consumers are looking at etailers to find gift ideas or store hours/location.

What all of this means is that the offers this holiday season will be more important than ever. Consumers are looking for good deals so they can save as much cash as possible. Running cross-platform campaigns which give the consumer the deal information are a good start, as are listing with comparison shopping engines. And, last but not least, making coupon codes simple to find or physical coupons easy to print out to redeem in-store could make the difference for etailers and retailers this year.

Tags: ecommerce, ecommerce spend, etailing, holiday forecast, holiday spend, Nielsen Company

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