Sellers online and off have the jitters about what 2008 Holiday Sales will do. Statistics on what has happened so far and predictions about what will happen are all over the map. Check out the quotes from recent articles below showing the wide range of beliefs about what retailers can expect. Then keep reading to find out how YOUR business can increase regardless of what the season brings for the majority.
- “Online spending for October grew at the slowest pace since at least 2001, an Internet research company said Tuesday” ~ Online Sales Growth in October 2008 slowest on record
- “To further the notion that we are in the midst of a paradigm shift when it comes to consumer’s shopping habits, web sales gained even more ground on slumping bricks and mortar sales.” ~ Online Sales Grow 5.7% Reports Commerce Department
- “November 12, 2008) Retail sales are slumping and stores are closing, but the online retailing channel—and thereby online payment transaction volumes—will come through relatively unscathed, according to a new report from Javelin Strategy and Research.” A Sour Economy Won’t Hurt Online Shopping or Alternative Payments
- “Online spending growth will plunge to 15 per cent this Christmas from 54 per cent two years ago, according to a survey carried out by IMRG and Capgemini.” ~ Online Sales to Slow Down This Christmas (UK)
- “Online Shopping in Canada Continues to Surge” ~ Surging Online Sales Still Small Fraction of Consumer Spending
Are you inviting them to buy from you – or sending them away without even knowing it?
- Forcing them to register before they can shop
- Failing to provide shipping information early in the shopping process
- Poor or no search function preventing them from finding what they want
- Poor images making it impossible to really determine what products look like
- Weak or sometimes even almost non-existent product details and descriptions
- Failure to invoke confidence in your business
- Shopping carts with too many steps or confusing checkout processes
- Shopping carts that simply do not work consistently (working sometimes is no proof)
- Merchant services with security so tight you’re turning away legitimate buyers
NOVEMBER 2008 PREDICTIONS on HOLIDAY SALES:
- *** EXCELLENT ARTICLE *** Nov. 20, 2008 Article posted by the Commerce Department – be sure to read this article as it explains how the high cost of oil and food has skewed the 2008 Holiday Sales Statistics. – See also the articles linked at the bottom of this link.
- Sour E-Conomy Doesn’t E-Qual Sour Grapes for E-Commerce
- Economic Depression 2008 – “Online shopping that had been expanding at over 15% every month just a few months back has taken a hammering from the current online crisis. And with the holiday season just around the corner, the situation is set to get worse and eventually bring a record loss to the business.”
- E-tailers Facing Holiday Vortex of Doom; Smallest Increase in Web Spending Ever – If a small increase is “doom” I wonder what they’d call a crash? Linkbait or true perspective?
- Strong Online Sales Predicted for 2008 Holiday Season – “While experts foresee little to no increase in overall retail sales this holiday season, they do expect a 12-percent growth in online sales, Time.com reports.”
- Holiday Shoppers to Spend More of Their Budgets Online
- Holiday Shoppers Continue to Shift Purchases Online
- Online Retail to Beat the Xmas Crunch (UK) – “As High Street retailers start to feel the pinch, online retail sales are set to rise to a staggering £13.16 billion in the last quarter of 2008.” (UK)
- New Hampshire Retailers Not Worried This Season – “A survey of its members by the Retail Merchants Association of New Hampshire finds that not all retailers in New Hampshire are experiencing the doom and gloom that many are forecasting. “Due to our lack of a sales tax, New Hampshire retailers tend to do better than retailers in other parts of the country. We have some pockets of retail that are doing quite well”
- U.S. Census Bureau E-Stats – “The U.S. Census Bureau’s Internet site devoted exclusively to “Measuring the Electronic Economy.” This site features recent and upcoming releases, information on methodology, and background papers.” ~ This site is not nearly as useful as one would hope. More current information may be there somewhere, but it certainly is not obvious where.
MARKETING REFERENCE SITES:
- Nielsen Online – Internet Media and Market Research
PERTINENT COMMENT: Did you notice that some claim ecommerce sales are up and others that they’re down. Some are predicting increases and other decreases. Reasonable people must conclude that both can NOT be correct. “Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics” applies here. Remember that statistics can be spun to support most any position and enhance PR on both sides. I recommend everyone understand statistics.