Online Retailers Expect 15% Growth In Holiday Sales

    November 5, 2008

The holiday season will be challenging for retailers but more than half (56.1%) of online retailers expect to increase sales at least fifteen percent over last year according to a study conducted by Shopzilla for

"Online retailers are resilient, but not immune, to the challenges of this holiday season," said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of

"Retailers will be heavily promotional to attract shoppers on a budget, but have also invested in new site features to improve the online buying experience."

Online Retailers Expect 15% Growth In Holiday Sales

This year, the majority (78%) of online retailers plan to offer free shipping with conditions at some point during the holiday season, consistent with last year’s levels. Retailers are making up for increased shipping costs by renegotiating deals with shipping providers (40.4%), closely managing their number of employees (33.3%), and cutting back on other promotions (15.8%).

In addition, 21.3 percent of retailers say they will require a higher purchase amount for customers to be eligible for free shipping and 10.6 percent will reduce usage of free shipping with no conditions.

Along with free shipping promotions, many online retailers have introduced new Web site features to improve the customer experience. Features like improved site search, which 42.9 percent of online retailers added or improved since last holiday season, will help customers navigate sites better.

Other features like product video (42.6%) and customer reviews (32.7%) can give shoppers more information to make buying decisions. For bargain hunters, online retailers have added and enhanced both clearance sale pages (27.1%) and featured sale pages (31.3%). In addition, online retailers are still experimenting with social networking with 25 percent adding a Facebook page this year.