In an October survey of consumers, Peterborough, NH-based list firm Millard Group found that 62% of respondents planned to start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. But that’s down from the more than 71% who in a July survey said that they’d begin their holiday shopping that early. This might partly explain the slower-than-expected sales that some catalogers have been experiencing, says Millard director of marketing services Lilliane LeBel.
The survey also found that 87% of respondents said that they are fairly or very likely to visit a site after viewing a promotional e-mail. Respondents also indicated that they do not seem to have a problem separating SPAM from legitimate merchant e-mails.
But LeBel says that online merchants are not providing what consumers want in both merchandise quality and uniqueness of items offered: “Catalogers have always been known for their unique merchandise,” LeBel said in a statement, “yet it seems that there is less and less of this as time goes on, and catalogers find themselves in a heated battle with retailers over hot sellers.”