By Rieva Lesonsky
Does your small business sell products online? If you don’t have an ecommerce site, you might need to rethink that, because Internet Retailer reports that more than one-third (36 percent) of all holiday shopping tasks, including checking prices, researching products and making purchases, will take place online this year.
The statistic comes from the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, which found that 46.7 percent of respondents plan to purchase products online this season (a 43.9 percent increase over those who did so a year ago).
In addition, online shoppers plan to spend more than the average consumer on gifts and seasonal items this holiday season–$857.59, which is 21.7 percent more than the average consumer. Those who say they plan to buy online will do slightly more than half (50.5 percent) of their holiday shopping–including checking prices, researching products and making purchases–online.
In addition to ecommerce sites, how else is the Internet affecting holiday shopping?
- Social media and daily deal sites are becoming vital. Internet Retailer says another survey, by GfK Custom Research North America, found that 39 percent of consumers will use social networks and daily deal sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial to find discounts before making a purchase.
- Shopping is going mobile. Almost 40 percent of respondents to the NRF survey own smartphones; of those, more than half said they will shop using their phone, including 31 percent who will use it for price checking or research; 17.3 percent who will use it to redeem coupons and 14.1 percent who will use it to complete a purchase.
- Tablets are making waves. While a small percentage (just 10.5 percent) of the NRF survey respondents own a tablet computer, those who own tablets are even more active than smartphone owners in how they plan to use the device this holiday season. Nearly two-thirds (70.5 percent) will use it to research products and more than one-third (34.8 percent) will buy products using their tablet.
What matters most to consumers this holiday season? Price is by far the biggest factor, cited by 41.6 percent of all shoppers in the NRF survey and 42.2 percent of online shoppers. The second biggest factor, product selection, was way down on the list at 18 percent for all consumers and 20.4 percent for online consumers.
Last, but not least, if you’re looking to appeal to those lucrative online shoppers, start today. Some 21.1 percent of online shoppers had started their holiday shopping by the end of September, compared to 18.6 percent of shoppers overall.
Image by Flickr user Marie-Chantal Turgeon (Creative Commons)Google+