Survey: Retailers Expect Holiday E-Commerce Growth

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An estimated 98 percent of retailers expect e-commerce growth this holiday season, according to the 2004 Shop.org/BizRate.com Online Holiday Mood Study.


The survey also showed 32 percent of consumers aim to conduct more of their holiday shopping online this year.


BizRate.com, Los Angeles, a shopping search engine, polled 1,722 online buyers and more than 100 online retailers Sept. 22-23 for the study. This is one of many surveys conducted yearly by Shop.org, the Washington-based National Retail Federation's e-commerce division.


As in years past, the holiday mood study confirmed that consumers who shop online are more likely to start their holiday shopping earlier than those who shop at retail stores.


Dispelling a widely held belief that retailers start holiday promotions earlier each year, 72 percent said they plan to begin holiday marketing at the same time as last year. And 53 percent of the retailers intend to begin promoting for the holidays after Halloween, despite 53 percent of online shoppers having started their shopping almost a month before. By this time, only 14 percent of retailers will have begun their online holiday marketing promotions.


Consumers will use the Internet in myriad ways, BizRate said. Eighty-nine percent of the surveyed online shoppers will use it more than they did in the last holiday season to comparison shop. Eighty-six percent will go online to research gifts for others, 74 percent to buy gifts for others and 53 percent to purchase gifts for themselves.


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