eCommerce Holiday Statistics Worth Mentioning

One of the blogs I read alot is by Andy Beal, also known as Marketing Pilgrim. (It’s important to educate yourself all the time.) In the article it talked about some of Forrester’s statistics related to the holiday season for online retailers, of which I want to elaborate on a bit:

  1. 61% of online shoppers prefer an e-tailer that offers free shipping. However, 49% say shipping prices do not deter them from buying. My recommendation is to test things. Don’t “give away” your product or lose too much money because of the free shipping option. Add some of the cost of shipping in to the price of the product, charge a small handling fee, and experiment.
  2. Only 26% say they would pay for expedited delivery. (It was 45% last year.) It’s good to give clients options. Just be careful not to over promise and under deliver.
  3. 55% say they shop online to find products they can’t find offline. Not much to elaborate on here. This is where demand and competition research with keywords comes back to help you.
  4. Only 18% would pay extra for gift wrapping (down from 33%). I’ve never even offered this option since most of my stuff is via dropshippers. It would be an interesting experiment to see if you got more sales by offering this service for a small fee.
  5. The top categories for online shopper this holiday season? In order: apparel, books, electronics, gift cards and toys. Don’t let this discourage you if you aren’t in one of these industries. Nor do you want your decision on what to sell to be based on these things. It’s important to do something you love to do, not look for what’s hot necessarily.
  6. 68% of internet users shop online or research products online. 50% of those users window shop only (research information) and then buy offline. This is interesting—it seems to indicate that only about 1/3rd of internet users are really online shoppers.
  7. The higher the income, the more likely a user is to shop or research products online. How relevant is this to what we are doing? The important thing is to think about who your target audience is: do they have money to spend on your products or services? If not, how do you plan to make sales?
  8. Here are the biggest deterrents of online shopping in order: credit card security, privacy, shipping costs, quality, return policies, delays and product availability. These are good things to be aware of. Don’t over think though – if you are using systems like PayPal for credit card security and include some type of privacy and return policy information on your website, these things shouldn’t be an issue.

Good luck with sales this holiday season. As I always say, keep the questions coming! Let’s be part of the best online sales holiday in history!

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