According to digital market research firm ComScore, online Christmas shopping is set to break records this year, as sales approach $22 billion so far, with a week to go. “Free shipping and other offers drive a 12 percent gain in e-tailers’ revenue over 2009,” wrote W. David Gardner of InformationWeek (Dec. 13).
“(ComScore) said more than $5 billion in spending was recorded in the week ending Friday, Dec. 10. The figure represented an increase of 11 percent over the corresponding week last year,” wrote Gardner.
Final week for guaranteed shipping
In fact, this is the last week for online shoppers to take advantage of free shipping and other promotions, as most deadlines for guaranteed shipping in time for Christmas are Dec. 18. “Many retailers are even offering discounts on expedited shopping beyond Saturday the 18th but you’re going to pay a little bit more for it, but that’s the price for procrastinating,” wrote Carlos Wilks of AmericasNewsOnline.com (Dec. 13).
ComScore predicts online shopping in the U.S. will peak in the days leading up to Christmas, with “Green Monday” being one of the biggest spending days on the calendar. “Green Monday was a term first coined by online retailer eBay and is used to describe the heaviest online spending day of the year, a Monday typically occurring in the second week of December,” Wilks wrote.
According to Shop.org’s eHoliday Survey, conducted by BIGresearch, nearly two-thirds (64.3 percent) of retailers’ standard shipping deadlines for Christmas delivery will expire on or before Saturday, Dec. 18. Analysts expect the week of December 13 to be one of the busiest weeks of the year, as shoppers everywhere head online to make holiday purchases in advance of impending shipping deadlines, wrote Kathy Grannis of the National Retail Federation, in a release (Dec. 13)
“Retailers know their shoppers look for both convenience and great prices, and are especially motivated with free shipping offers this time of year,” said Joan Broughton, interim executive director of Shop.org. “As shipping deadlines approach, online retailers will highlight extra incentives for free shipping and other savings, looking to nudge along holiday procrastinators.”
According to Shop.org’s eHoliday Survey:
- 85 percent of online retailers will offer free shipping at some point during the holiday season.
- 37 percent of retailers surveyed said their budget for free shipping is higher than last year.
- 32 percent of holiday shoppers plan to spend more online this holiday season, specifically because of free shipping.
- Extreme procrastinators will have until Dec. 21 when 57 percent of online retailers’ express two-day delivery offers expire.
- 60 percent of online retailers will offer overnight shipping options for guaranteed Christmas delivery through Dec. 23.