Shopping Season Is Upon Us

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The holiday shopping season officially began last Friday and online retailers are anxiously waiting to see if their profits will go up this year. There is a good reason to be optimistic. According to Hitwise, holiday visitor traffic has been growing steadily. If Thankgiving traffic is an indicator at all, online retailer visits were up by almost 12% compared to the same period in 2005 and almost 34% compared to the year 2004.

The big question everyone is asking is whether increased traffic translates into increased sales. Are people visiting online retailers to research a product or to make a purchase?

A Performics study reports that “58 percent of adults surveyed plan to conduct online research during this year’s holiday season.” At the same time, the study shows that only 4% are planning to make a purchase online. A Harris Interactive study found that at least 40% of employed adults will be doing their online holiday shopping from work.

Another interesting thing to note is that according to Hitwise, 12 out of the 15 most popular online websites for Thanksgiving Day are big box retailers. Wal-Mart is holding the number one spot for the second year in a row.

So although a lot of people are not planning to buy their holidays gifts online, we are still seeing an increase in both online sales and online research conducted by the consumer.

About the Author

Andrey Milyan was the first editor-in-chief of Search Marketing Standard, the leading print publication covering the search marketing industry. He has been following and reporting on industry developments for over 10 years. Andrey now works in the paid search sector of a prominent search marketing agency.

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2 Comments

  1. chris

    Too bad Wal-Mart had that "wardrobe malfunction" that day. I wonder how much revenue they estimate that cost them? It doesn't sound as if they handled it very well either by telling people to "try later".

  2. Andrey Milyan

    I'm sure they lost quite a bit :(