More Shoppers Favor Online Shopping over the Store this Holiday Season and a few tips on what your business can do to reap the rewards

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According to Retailer Daily, the web has become the favored place to shop this Holiday Season.  In the study 49% of respondents chose online shopping as their favorite place to shop this Holiday Season while only 44% chose In-Store as their favorite destination for completing their Holiday Gift Shopping.

The extensive study also asked shoppers to rank the importance of 36 features when buying gifts online this Holiday Season.  The top 10 ranked responses were:

  1. Free Shipping with Purchase
  2. Keyword Search (The shopper can search by keyword and not just by options given in the menu)
  3. Clearly displayed and easily sortable search results
  4. Sales and Specials
  5. Free Returns
  6. Accessible contact Information
  7. 800/Toll-free phone #
  8. Coupons and /or Rebates
  9. Advanced Search (search by color, price, size, et cetra)
  10. Perpetual Shopping Cart

While it may be a little late in the Holiday Season to update your websites search functions or shopping cart – you most certainly still have time to incorporate the six other features into your Holiday Marketing Plans and into your businesses Pay Per click account.

I often find myself shopping online, and consider myself spoiled by sites like Zappos.com where shipping (both ways) is always free.  I can also be guaranteed to make a minimum purchase, if I know I’m going to save money on shipping.  Imagine all the people who only purchase at sites with free shipping – make sure you don’t miss out on this bump in shoppers and that your business is offering Free Shipping this Holiday Season.

I’m also often roped in by sales and specials found on my favorite sites.  For example last month, I was shopping on Sephora.com and was immediately taken in by the New Limited Edition Fresh Sugar Social Set.  I made sure to purchase the item quickly before the Limited Edition set was snapped up and I was left out in the cold.  Imagine how many other shoppers have purchased this item because of the special Limited Edition status. Just because you decide to offer a special it doesn’t mean you have to cut your businesses margins. A special could just mean that you are offering something that is “Special” (due to limited availability or abscence of stock at any other retailer).  This tactic focuses on offering something to the shopper that gives them a fear of losing if they don’t act soon.  Obviously, no amount of fancy jargon will overcome a product that is priced too high – so make sure you are price shopping your competitors sites throughout the holiday season and making pricing adjustments as neccessary.

As far as returns, I have to circle back to my personal favorite shoe shopping site Zappos.com.  It’s very convenient and reassuring to shop online and know the company will honor returns and foot the bill for return shipping, no questions asked.  Smaller businesses may not be able to absorb the cost of free return shipping with each order, but this Holiday Shopping season could be a good time to give free returns a try in order to stay competitive this season.

This holiday season may be more challenging for online and offline retailers alike, but by using a few of the tips shared above hopefully it will be a profitable time for your business.  To discuss the tips above or to discuss your Online Holiday Marketing Plan please give your team at Leverage Marketing a call.  Happy Holidays!