SOURCE: MarketLive

MarketLive

October 19, 2009 06:00 ET

Consumer-Focused Shopping Survey by MarketLive and the e-tailing group Reveals Shoppers Plan to Do 55% of Their Holiday Gift Buying Online, up From 49% Last Year

Survey Indicates Shoppers Plan to Spend More Online Than They Did Last Year and Reveals Consumer Preferences That Help Retailers Capture Maximum Holiday Spend

PETALUMA, CA and CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - October 19, 2009) - MarketLive, Inc. (www.marketlive.com), the leading eCommerce platform and services provider for mid-market specialty retailers, and the e-tailing group (www.e-tailing.com), the industry's premier shopper-centric eCommerce consultantancy, today revealed results from the 2009 Mindset of a Multi-Channel Shopper Survey. The report polled more than 1,000 consumers about their shopping habits and plans for the upcoming holiday season. It revealed that 55 percent of surveyed shoppers plan to do their holiday shopping online this year, compared to 49 percent last year. It also reports that online channel continues to gain wallet share as indicated that by the fact that 26 percent of shoppers plan to purchase more gifts using the Internet. Last year only 21 percent planned to buy more gifts online.

These trends, as well other insights into what will motivate consumers to buy this holiday season, will inform retailers as they implement targeted strategies that will appeal to holiday shoppers and improve 2009 results.

"There are lots of surveys that focus on the holidays from the perspective of retailers," said Ken Burke, Founder and Chairman of MarketLive. "This survey is unique in that it approaches the holiday shopping season from the consumer's point of view -- an ultimately more important perspective. The information and insights gained from this research are invaluable for retailers as they prioritize holiday campaigns and offers, and implement marketing and merchandising strategies this season."

Survey Highlights

In addition to the increase in shoppers buying holiday items online, the report also revealed that:

--  Eighty-eight percent of shoppers are willing to pay full price for
    hard-to-find  products, customer conveniences and effective customer
    service such as an 800 number, online chat, simple-to-use order status, and
    email alerts when orders are shipped.
--  Eighty-five percent of survey respondents report the primary reason
    for shopping online is still time saving, but 40 and 38 percent of shoppers
    respectively also rate wish lists and reviews as increasingly important.
--  Books, clothing, music, gift certificates, toys, and consumer
    electronics are the top product categories shoppers are likely to purchase
    online by at least 33 percent of respondents.
--  Sixty-two percent of shoppers report that high shipping charges remain
    the primary reason they will not buy more online, highlighting the fact
    that free shipping offers will again be very compelling this season.
--  While shoppers indicated a desire to remain loyal to their favorite
    retailer, 70 percent indicated that they are likely to shop competitors'
    websites or retail stores when they encounter out-of-stock products this
    holiday season.
--  In-store pick-up for products purchased online was cited as important
    by 60 percent of shoppers.
--  One in three shoppers plan to use a mobile phone for shopping-related
    purposes such as price checks, in-stock checks, and redemption of
    promotions this holiday season.
--  This holiday season social networking sites will
    influence shopping behavior for 37 percent of online shoppers versus
    24 percent last year.
    

"It's exciting to see shoppers continue to embrace the web channel, especially in these challenging economic times," said Lauren Freedman, President of the e-tailing group. "We as merchants must remain vigilant and deliver truly convenient, compelling and customer service-oriented experience to continue to reap market share channel gains. With this, and other findings from the report, retailers can implement targeted strategies that will greatly improve business results for 2009 and beyond."

Essential Strategies Showcased in Oct 22 Webinar

The survey's key findings and effective holiday strategies for retailers will be showcased in a free webinar, titled "The ROI of Christmas Present -- Capture Your Fair Share of Consumer Spending During Challenging Times," on October 22, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time. Register to attend the webinar, at www.marketlive.com/consumer09.

"The e-tailing group offers over 15 years of e-retailing experience and we've learned which strategies will help retailers weather today's economic climate," added Freedman. "By looking at retailing from the eyes of the consumer, retailers can captivate shoppers and maximize ROI for their holiday efforts."

During the webinar, retailers will learn:

--  "Must-have" merchandising and promotional strategies for the holiday
    season
--  What it will take for consumers to pay full price for gifts this
    holiday season
--  What gets shoppers attention beyond free shipping
--  Which onsite gifting tools matter the most and how service impacts
    brand perception
--  How promotional features rank for influencing buying decisions
--  Cross-channel shopping plans for pre- and post-holiday periods
--  How mobility and social networking are beginning to factor into
    consumer decision making
    

"Building effective holiday strategies can be tricky," said Burke. "Our Internet Strategy and Solutions groups work closely with our client retailers to build sound marketing and merchandising strategies that are tied to consumer preferences."

About MarketLive

Since 1995, MarketLive, Inc. (www.marketlive.com) has provided enterprise-class eCommerce retail technology and services that help fast-growing companies successfully sell goods and services online. Designed to meet the unique requirements of catalogers, retailers, direct marketers, and manufacturers, the extensible MarketLive® eCommerce Suite and MarketLive's best practices-based Intelligent Selling® methodology enable merchants to enhance their customers' experience online while dramatically improving acquisition, conversion, and retention rates. The MarketLive platform is the most retail-targeted, fully featured, customizable eCommerce solution on the market today. MarketLive powers successful retail eCommerce sites, including Peruvian Connection, Bon-Ton Stores, Sports Chalet, Design Toscano, Gaiam, Greatland, Party City and many others.

About the e-tailing group

The e-tailing group, inc. serves as the multi-channel merchant's eye, bringing a merchant's sensibility to evolving the multi-channel shopping experience. A Chicago-based consultancy, they provide practical strategic perspectives and actionable merchandising solutions to merchants selling online as well as to enabling technology firms. For more background about this research study or additional information on the e-tailing group, inc. please contact Lauren Freedman at LF@e-tailing.com or visit the e-tailing group website www.e-tailing.com.

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