Holiday Survey: Shipping, Retail Experience Are Key to Success

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Free ShippingPetaluma, CA—Free Shipping offers are more than a gimmick to entice online shoppers. According to its 2013 Holiday Retail Survey, MarketLive, a leading e-commerce platform for retailers, found an overwhelming majority of holiday shoppers will respond to retailers’ promotions offering free shipping, and they will ultimately shop with the retailer who can guarantee an on-time delivery date and/or the best shopping experience.

The survey sample included 1,000 consumer questionnaires. The report illustrates consumer survey results with tactical examples drawn from promotional campaigns by Nordstrom, Sport Chalet, Sephora, Cost Plus World Market, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Pottery Barn, REI, Restoration Hardware, Sundance Catalog, Helzberg Diamonds, Amazon, Blue Nile, and Francesca’s.

“This year’s survey underlined the need for retailers to prepare and be able to adapt more than ever for the holiday season,” said Lauren Freedman, president, the e-tailing group.  “Responses clearly demonstrate that online shopping is becoming the norm across all categories–and price and a near-perfect experience are the drivers of conversion.”

Key Trends

Among the consumer trends that online retailers can expect this holiday shopping season:

●91% of online shoppers will respond to a promotion that offers free standard shipping

●87% will shop with the online retailer who can guarantee an on-time delivery date

●72% want to buy or reserve a product online (or via their mobile phone) for pickup, before coming to the store

●69% plan to shop online on Cyber Monday (edging out the 68% who plan to shop on Black Friday)

●65% of online shoppers still want a traditional gift card/gift certificate to give and rank it the No. 1 gifting tool

●52% want online retailers to have a ‘Wish List’ or registry where they can find out what others want

●38% will be loyal to a retailer because of their loyalty/rewards program; 51% will be loyal because of their customer service; 90% will be loyal because of their prices

●31% will pay full price for a gift if they receive free shipping

“Online shoppers have become quite savvy. They know how to comparison shop from their mobile phones and they have come to expect certain things like free shipping,” said Ken Burke, founder and chairman of MarketLive. “But our survey also uncovered many tactical things that online retailers can do this holiday season—like tangible gift cards,  24/7 customer service reps and online ratings and social sharing—to attract customers, retain margins, and compete successfully this holiday season.”


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