For any retailer with an ecommerce presence, last year’s holiday season was mind-boggling. Consumers spent $35.3 billion at retail sites, according to online measurement firm comScore. That was a 16% increase over holiday 2010, and a sturdy 1 percentage point gain over Shop.org’s projection of a 15% increase.
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And heading into holiday 2012, it doesn’t appear that ecommerce sales are going to slow down.
Empowered consumers are not only dictating what they want to buy, but also how they go about it and where they make their purchases. They’re armed with smartphones; are “show-rooming” in the bricks-and-mortar environment; and they’re relaxing in their living rooms at night with their tablets, partaking in “couch commerce” activities.
Social shopping trends are also playing their part. While Facebook commerce has not taken off, Pinterest has come out of nowhere and has become a game-changer for ecommerce.
And then there’s that direct marketing rule-of-thumb that sales tend to rise in an election year. So whether incumbent Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney wins on Nov. 6, the election process should provide a lift for online sales.
Hopefully, you’re already preparing for Holiday 2012. But whether you’re procrastinating or ahead of the game, the following pages will provide you with some guidance as you get ready for the season: