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BizReport : Research archives : November 13, 2006

Expect 5% Boost to Holiday Sales

U.S. gas prices are headed down and the economy is on the rise, leading the National Retail Federation to expect a 5% boost to holiday sales in 2006. Will that boost be seen in traditional brick-and-mortar stores or online retailers?

by Kristina Knight

Both, according to a survey from BIGresearch. The average customer plans to spend $791 this holiday season. That is up from $738 last year; consumers are planning to spend an additional $99 on themselves. Where will they be spending all that money?

The majority (70%) say they’ll shop at discount stores to get the most from their money. Another 48% say they’ll shop in specialty stores, and 47% say they’ll take their shopping online this season. The budget breakdown looks like this:

*$451.34 spent on family
*$85.60 spent on friends
*$22.40 spent on coworkers
*$44.52 spent on clergy, teachers, babysitters

Most shoppers say sales, price discount and everyday low prices determine which stores they will visit, however, other factors like customer service, selection and quality are gaining ground on price point.

Customer service, selection and merchandise quality are three areas where online retailers can begin making an impact on brick and mortar stores. By providing easy to navigate pages, secure shopping carts, simple customer service contact pages and optimizing landing pages e-tailers can provide as much, if not more, service than traditional stores, possibly garnering more holiday revenue in the process.

Where are shoppers going online? eBay ranks first with 57.6 million visits. Rounding out the top 5 online shopping sites are (41.9 million visits), Target (19.9 million visits), WalMart (19 million visits) and the network (17.2 million visits).

Tags: online marketing, online shopping, online spending

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