I wake up every day and thank G-d that my husband and I started an online shopping catalog driven website instead of his 1st entrepreneurial idea (an international catalog featuring ladies sexy lingerie manufactured in Mexico -- a very sexy idea -- until the peso devalued in the course of a 4 hour plane flight). As co-founder of Catalogs.com, I am busting at the seams with enthusiasm and optimism at the latest online shopping statistics!
$211 billion: projected 2006 online sales, including travel, from Forrester Research study
$32 billion: Projected 2006 U.S. online holiday sales, according to Jupiter Research
61 million: Number of consumers expected to shop online for holiday gifts from work in 2006, up from 51.7 million in 2005, according to BIG research survey
96.5 Percent of shoppers in Biz Rate Research survey who said they have been at least somewhat satisfied with their online holiday shopping experience
50 Percent of consumers 18-34 years old in Consumer Reports poll who say they will do their shopping online
39 Percent of all shoppers in Consumer Reports poll who say they planned to purchase holiday gifts online
28.9 Percent of holiday purchases consumers in BIG research survey who say they will use the Internet for
9 Percent of children 5-18 years old who say they plan to do most of their holiday shopping online, according to a poll by market research group Weekly Reader Research
The National Retail Federation projects 13.6 million consumers will purchase online during the holiday season and pick up items in person at stores that offer the option.
Ask yourself WHY such tremendous increases in online activity?
My belief is as follows:
1. Because Web visitors are not only looking for gifts online, but also ways to escape and save time during this busy time of year.
2. Consumers have greater options to hard-to-find unique merchandise.
3. Consumers have the ability to compare prices quickly and efficiently.
4. Employees can “shop” while at work (though their bosses probably don’t appreciate it).
5. Consumers LOVE receiving print catalogs, leafing through them at leisure, and then having the convenience of going online and quickly placing the order without dealing with telemarketers.
6. Internet preferred pricing (or online specials only) are encouraging and motivating consumers to take advantage of special discounts.
What about CATALOGS?
According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), it has released a white paper on holiday shopping which indicates that the average combined Internet and catalog holiday sales are 8.3 percent higher than they were during the same period in 2005.
“We are seeing a healthier year than we did during the 2005 holiday season, which saw a 7.5 percent increase over 2004,” said Anna Chernis, senior research manager for DMA. “For the holiday season to date this year, online sales have increased by 11.3 percent while catalog sales have increased by 2.2 percent.”
DMA’s survey also found that approximately three quarters (72.0 percent) of those surveyed marketers report that their Internet sales were higher than for the same timeframe last year. A third of catalog sellers report 2006 holiday sales that are higher than they were for the same period in 2005. Both of these showings are comparable to last year’s survey.