Online Retailers To Focus On Facebook And Twitter During Holidays

    October 22, 2009

Due to the popularity of Facebook and Twitter and because they are more cost effective than traditional advertising, 47.1 percent of online retailers will be increasing their use of social media this holiday season, according to a new study by, conducted by BiGresearch.

More than half of retailers said they have added or improved their Facebook page (60.3%) and Twitter pages (58.7%) this year, while 65.6 percent have added improved blogs and RSS feeds. In addition, in an effort to get people to start shopping, 34.3 percent of retailers say they will offer holiday deals earlier this year.

Free shipping offers continue to be popular with online holiday shoppers. The majority (79.4%) of online retailers will offer free shipping with conditions at some point during the holiday season, while more than half (57.4%) also plan to offer free shipping without conditions. More than one-third (35.7%) said their budgets for free shipping are higher than last year, and nearly as many (30%) said free shipping offers will start earlier than a year ago.

"Retailers know that times are tough so they have created promotions and incentives to help Americans save money this holiday season," said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of

Online Retailers'Holiday Plans
Online Retailers’Holiday Plans

"From free shipping to Facebook, online retailers are combining new initiatives with tried-and-true tactics to make their companies stand out."

While online growth is expected to slow this holiday season, it remains a bright spot in retail overall. The survey found, 45.8 percent of online retailers expect their holiday sales to increase at least 15 percent over last year, while one-third (33.9%) expect sales to grow up to 14 percent, Only 20.3 percent of online retailers expects sales to be flat or decline.

Mainly due to the convenience of the Internet, more than a quarter of online shoppers (26.7%) said they plan to spend a larger portion of their holiday budget online this year. Reasons why people will spend more online include being able shop anytime (41.9%), the ability to compare prices (34%), and free shipping (33.1%). Others said they will spend more online because it’s more convenient for them (32.4%), they don’t want to fight crowds in stores (24.9%) or because it’s easier to find items (16.7%).

"In a year where every penny counts, many people will start their holiday shopping online to find deals, search customer reviews to select products, and get gift ideas," said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch.

"The benefits of online shopping far outweigh the drawbacks, as far as most shoppers are concerned."