Impending Halloween celebrations notwithstanding, retailers and consumers are already focusing on the holiday season ahead. Today we’re releasing the results of the 2010 eHoliday pre-holiday retailer and consumer surveys, conducted in partnership with BIGresearch (Shop.org members can download the results here). As usual, it is chock full of insights into retailer expectations for the season, what matters most to consumers when choosing to do business with one retailer versus another (hint: basics like seeing that final shopping cart total before check out, not bells and whistles), what consumer budgets look like for Holiday purchases, which promotions consumers will warm to – and more.
While many retailers are pretty well set in terms of their holiday plans, these pre-holiday findings will help you test how well marketing messages are likely to resonate with consumers, whether your social media campaigns are taking the right tack, how to leverage and coordinate across multiple channels, understanding how consumers will use the Web to research versus actually purchase holiday gifts. And if you think your holiday marketing and promotions budgets need beefing up, we’ve got some benchmarks that might just help you make a case for that.
A few highlights from the findings:
- More retailers this year than last expect growth in the 25% to 49% range.
- Online holiday shoppers expect to spend a net average of close to $500 for family gifts, or almost 25% more than all holiday shoppers.
- When it comes to getting info about a retailer or product, consumers tell us that customer reviews and comparison shopping sites trump social media such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs (albeit with some variation between younger and older shoppers).
- Instead, retailers’ best bet for targeting holiday shoppers: existing customers, who largely will start their holiday shopping at sites where they have shopped in the past.
- Shipping offers are still hugely popular with customers (no surprise), but dollar off and percentage off coupons are attractive also. Retailers should think creatively about their budgets for free shipping offers: for example, almost one third of women would welcome free returns shipping offers.
If you haven’t already done so, do check out the Online Holiday Center on our site, which includes links to holiday focused research, Webinars, STORES articles, the NRF Holiday Survival Kit and more. As always, I welcome your feedback. May the 2010 holiday season indeed be merry for your company!