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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : October 23, 2009

Online retailers prime shipping promotions and social for holiday season

A new survey conducted by BIGresearch for found that online retailers will be revamping websites, focusing on social and offering free shipping, in some form, this holiday season and, for a third, this activity will start earlier this year than last.

by Helen Leggatt

Online retailers are, according to's eHoliday Study, expecting increased holiday sales this year and, in preparation, are attracting bargain-hungry shoppers with free delivery.

Of those intending to run free shipping offers almost 80% will make them conditional, which usually means a customer must purchase a specific item or spend a set dollar amount to qualify.

Just over half (57.4%), plan to offer free shopping with no conditions attached. A third of respondents intend to start 2009 holiday promotions, such as free shipping, earlier than last year.

Marketers are also priming their presence on social spaces. According to the survey nearly half (47.1%) of online retailers surveyed are increasing their use of social media this holiday season. This year more than last, retailers are adding or improving their Facebook page (60.3%), Twitter pages (58.7%) and maintaining or enhancing blogs and RSS feeds (65.6%).

"Retailers know that times are tough so they have created promotions and incentives to help Americans save money this holiday season," said Scott Silverman, Executive Director at "From free shipping to Facebook, online retailers are combining new initiatives with tried-and-true tactics to make their companies stand out."

Tags: e-commerce, holiday season, incentives, promotions, social media

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