More Evidence of Social Media driving Holiday E-commerce

Shop.org just published their eHoliday Study, and the primary insight is hardly surprising: retailers will be leaning more heavily on social media than promotions or operational efficiencies, in order to capitalize on the upcoming holiday shopping season:

Retailers social media - 2009 holiday shopping

While observing nearly half of retailers ramp up their social media marketing agenda is certainly noteworthy, it is the trends-within-the-trend that present more eye-openers.

For example,
• Nearly four of five (79%) of online retailers will offer conditional free shipping at some point during the holiday season
• Nearly three of five (57%) also will offer unconditional free shipping

As traditional consumers continue their evolution toward “enlightened digital consumer” status, price transparency has forced retailers to compete on alternative profit centers.  This is very apparent during the holiday shopping season, when increased transaction volumes create opportunities for further promotional incentives.  Shipping continues to be an important driver of marketing strategy during the holiday rush, a point we alluded to in “Green Monday is Coming!

Retailers are investing in social media efforts across the board, with a majority of marketers planning enhancements to their Twitter pages (59%), Facebook pages (60%) and company/brand blogs (66%).  As discussed in a post last month about the relationship between social media and search activity, these investments show a measurable return in the form of upwardly mobile search query behavior on the part of consumers.  With so much of the e-commerce experience tied to search engines, and Forrester Research forecasting 8% growth in holiday spending compared to 2008, that sounds like a pretty smart bet.

About Paul Burani

Paul Burani - Partner, Web Liquid Group. Connect with me on Google+

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