Most Online Holiday Promos Will Start by Halloween

Nearly 62% of online merchants will start their holiday promotions by Halloween, up from nearly 53% last year, according to’s eHoliday survey conducted by BIGinsight. Many of those promotions will center on free shipping and online offers.

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The rest of the survey respondents (38%) said they will begin marketing their online holiday promotions by mid-November or later.

A recently-released holiday consumer spending survey from parent National Retail Federation found more than half (51.8%) of shoppers will shop online in the coming weeks – the highest amount in the survey’s 10-year history – and 22.1% indicated they would begin shopping in October — up from 20.3% last year. Executive Director Vicki Cantrell said in a release that consumers can expect even more of an integrated shopping experience this holiday season with companies also looking to enhance their mobile marketing efforts.

According to the survey, nearly 90% of retailers plan to offer some form of free shipping for online shoppers. When asked which promotions they will emphasize the most this holiday season, 37.5% plan to offer free standard shipping with conditions, and 30% will offer free standard shipping without conditions.

What’s more, retailers will use promotions that include coupons, limited-time only deals, and discounts on specific purchases.

Half of the survey respondents said they’d begin their online holiday shopping by Halloween; another 43.2% will hold wait until November.

The eHoliday study surveyed 2,988 consumers from Sept. 26 through Oct. 11 and 40 online retailers from Sept. 25 through Oct. 11.

The survey results were not the only holiday-themed facts and figures to come out this week.
Litle & Co. released the results of an independent consumer survey to determine payments trends this holiday shopping season. The research revealed that while 60% of respondents owned a tablet or smartphone, only one in four have shopped via their mobile devices.

Of those who do shop via mobile device, the sweet spot price point range is $20-$100.

Here’s an infographic of Litle & Co.’s full research findings. Litle & Co. commissioned ResearchNow to survey 500 shoppers, 304 of whom own a smartphone, during September.

Meanwhile, Bronto and Retail Systems Research recently surveyed 179 retailers about their plans for holiday marketing and found that not only are almost half of them increasing their online budgets this year over last, but more than 20% of respondents are allocating more than 50% to either mobile, social, or email marketing channels.

The overall outlook for holiday 2012 revenue is enthusiastic, according to the Bronto survey results, with 68% of respondents expecting sales to increase from last year, and almost a quarter saying sales will increase by more than 50%.

With 43% of retailers reporting that they will either significantly (21%) or slightly (22%) increase their holiday online marketing budget from 2011, Bronto says it shows just how important holiday marketing has become.