The Data Digest: The Information Sources That US Online Holiday Shoppers Use

In the recently published report “US Online Holiday Retail Forecast, 2012” Forrester estimates that US holiday season online retail sales will grow 15% from 2011 to 2012. While the number of US online holiday shoppers is expected to grow very little compared with last year, the average US online shopper will spend about 12% more than last year. But, as my colleague Sucharita Mulpuru shares in her blog on this topic, consumers are harder to impress this year. Satisfying the expectations of online shoppers during the holiday season is crucial to the Q4 success of retailers.

What kind of information sources are US online shoppers using most when considering products for purchase? Forrester's North American Technographics® Retail Online Benchmark Recontact Survey, Q3 2012 (US) shows that easy access to shipping costs is extremely important, followed by product ratings and reviews from other customers, and product information from retailers.

This holiday season, consumers are more likely than ever to visit a website before buying gifts; in fact, it will be the channel of choice for many. Retailers already go big on promotions, but if they don't have their basics in order — such as search, navigation, and checkout — customers will quickly move on to a competitor to find that great deal.


I agree with consumers being

I agree with consumers being harder to satisfy during these times. Consumers have the bargaining power over companies with so many substitutes being out there. Online shopping allows consumers to compare and ultimately make the decision that best suits them. The economic slow down in certain segments of the market are also another reason for why consumers can choose to be picky when making a purchase or not. Having a website that is easy to browse for online shoppers is a plus and having special offers such as free shipping or giving a savings of say 20% off of a $100 purchase may help entice online shoppers to make a purchase.

Interesting blog, Tony. I

Interesting blog, Tony. I agree with having a website that is easy to browse for online shoppers. These days, people rather shop online than to drive to the place and get what they need. Another thought is websites do offer deals such as free shipping to attract their consumers. For example, just yesturday was CYBER MONDAY, a lot of online sites were offering free shipping along with an X amount of discount with their purchase. Consumers look for those type of deals because of the economic downturn. At this point, consumers are very cautious with their money.

Great reference of Cyber

Great reference of Cyber Monday Lisa. Many retailers are aware of the current situation both economically and on satisfying needs of consumers. Cyber Monday is another way to get consumers to make purchases that they "may not" be able to get at a later time. Though there may be a sale later down the road that is better than what is offered on days such as Cyber Monday, consumers are more prone to act quickly in order to not risk missing out on a current offer.