The Difference in Holiday Growth: Online and Off

Hitwise Has the Data, I have the Speculation

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As the holidays approach, are people going to do their shopping online or off? Well, both of course, but Hitwise shares some data that sees online shopping growth at 4.19% over the past four weeks, and that is up from 1.94% growth from the same period last year.

Click chart to enlarge.

But don’t count the brick and mortars out. Hitwise’s data shows a lot more growth than last year for that category:

Bricks & Mortar Retailers have seen a year on year growth in visits of 29.87%, and the majority of this growth has been seen in the past four weeks, increasing 23.17%. This past week’s growth of 13.79% is strong compared to the corresponding week in 2007 of 3.71%.

Click chart to enlarge.

This is purely speculation, but I would expect the growth in the number of brick and mortar businesses to steadily increase as the holidays get closer while online growth levels out. My thinking on this is that the closer the holidays get, the less time people have to buy gifts. When they’re shopping online, they’re going to have to wait for items to ship. Sure they can pay extra and get them shipped faster, but with the economy how it is, people are looking to save money, not spend extra. So it stands to reason that last-minute shoppers will be gravitating more toward brick and mortar stores where they can purchase items and take them home.

If I’m not completely wrong about that, this means that online businesses better get their holiday agendas kicked into high gear as soon as humanly possible, because time will run out faster than they realize. Of course if I am completely wrong, it would still be in their best interest to do so.

The Difference in Holiday Growth: Online and Off
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