As retailers continue to develop their strategies for the 2011 holiday shopping season, new studies cite a consistent growth in e-Commerce, which may convert to a significant increase in holiday purchase behavior in the channel. A research overview provided by eMarketer revealed this and other 2010 and 2011 online shopping insights, as well as statistics and top buying strategies for shoppers this holiday season.
Results from the U.S. Department of Commerce research study titled Quarterly Retail e-Commerce Sales: 2nd Quarter 2011, highlighted a 17.6% increase in online purchases versus Q2 2010. Results indicated that e-Commerce accumulated $47.5 billion of the retail industry’s total sales, the highest performing Q2 to date. “The findings released in August by the DOC show that retail ecommerce sales are on track,” the eMarketer report said. “And, importantly for online retailers, e-Commerce’s share of total retail sales, while still small, is steadily increasing.”
comScore found similar results in its State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q2 2011. The research firm reported a $5 billion boost in Internet spending and an overall online shopper increase of 16%. Although the amount of money spent per buyer decreased by 2%, the growing total of online buyers has ensured a boost in overall purchase rates. According to study results, 70% of all Internet users made at least one purchase during the quarter. Overall, top-performing product categories for online purchases were consumer electronics, computer hardware and software, and event tickets.
Despite the consistent growth in online purchases, consumers are still focused on finding quality sales and implementing thrifty spending techniques this holiday season, according to survey results. The BIGresearch Consumer Intentions & Consumer Actions Survey for July 2011 found that close to one-third of shopper respondents (32.4%) determined they will spend less this holiday season, while more than 25% said they plan to follow their 2010 budget. Conversely, less than 5% anticipate spending more on gifts for friends and family. The monthly BIGresearch survey monitors the shopping behavior of more than 8,000 consumers.
To formulate a cost-efficient shopping strategy, a majority of shoppers (62.5%) plan on spending less, according to the survey. However, sale scouting is another top purchasing tactic, cited by 43.5% of respondents, while more than one-third (35.6%) said they will price compare to find the best buys.
According to eMarketer, Q2 2011 growth rates in e-Commerce are consistent with 2010 results. To that end, the research firm noted that retailers can anticipate a strong burst in purchases between Q3 and Q4 for the holiday season. Results from The U.S. Department of Commerce supported this trend, revealing that online spending swelled from $39.2 billion in Q3 2010 to $53.2 billion in Q4.