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.
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.