Online retailers are giving thanks for an increase in sales over Black Friday weekend, according to the findings of a new Shop.org/BizRate.com survey. The second installment of the 2003 eHoliday Mood Study, conducted by Shop.org and BizRate.com, found that more than half of retailers saw sales increase more than 25 percent over last year during the same period. This sales surge has led to increased cheer-71 percent of online retailers are feeling optimistic about the holiday season, up four percent from two weeks ago.
This year, consumers seem to be embracing shopping across websites, stores and catalogs more than ever. According to the study, 50 percent of consumers are using the Web to research products and then buy them either in a store or through a catalog. And 45 percent of consumers are researching gift purchases in stores and catalogs and then purchasing them online.
“Online retailers are increasingly optimistic about the holidays because the last two weeks have been very strong,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, the online division of the National Retail Federation. “Retailers have succeeded in combining their Web sites, stores and catalogs into a seamless shopping experience that lets consumers shop where and when they want.”
The study also evaluates the success of online retailers marketing efforts. Free shipping with conditions gained in strength as the most successful tool in driving holiday business; 44 percent of retailers listed it as their most effective marketing promotion, an increase of seven percent over two weeks ago.
“Both retailers and consumers are benefiting from the 2003 online retail holiday season,” said Chuck Davis, CEO of BizRate.com. “Consumers are enjoying excellent online and multichannel shopping experiences and consumers are rewarding these retailers with their business.”
The eHoliday Mood Study is the only holiday measurement tool that is based on data provided directly from online retailers in addition to consumer data. The second of four installments, which represents the two-week buying period between November 16 and 29, includes data from more than 80 leading Internet and multi-channel retailers all Shop.org members.
W2 vs. W1
Consumers researching gift purchases online and then purchasing them in an offline store or catalog (multiple responses, 11/17 & 11/18, count: 2,185 ):
Research gift purchases online and then purchasing them offline (store or catalog)
buy in-store at same retailer (39%)
buy in-store at different retailer (22%)
buy via catalog at same retailer (8%)
buy via catalog at different retailer (4%)
None of the above
Consumers researching gift purchases in a store or catalog and then purchasing them online (multiple responses, 11/17 & 11/18, count: 2,178):
Research gift purchases offline (store or catalog) and then purchasing them online
research in-store, buy online at same retailer (24%)
research in-store, buy online at different retailer (14%)
research in catalog, buy online at same retailer (20%)
research in catalog, buy online at different retailer (8%)
None of the above
Online retail marketing promotions most successful in driving business (multiple responses):
W2 vs W1
Free ship with conditions
Free ship no conditions
Early shopper discount
Online only sale
Other marketing promotion
Free gift with purchase
First-time buyer discount
Purchase with purchase
Buy x get x free
Tax free promotion