Consumer Satisfaction with Shopping Channels Linked to 2010 Retailer Success

Consumers are increasing using a number of different channels when searching for, selecting and purchasing holiday gifts. Their experiences with each channel, such as a traditional catalog, play a role in whether they are likely to use the same channel for next year’s holiday shopping.  The Holiday 2009 Post-​Mortem study published by allen & gerritsen contains great statistics for marketers who are already making plans for the 2010 shopping season.

First, here’s a quick summary of where consumers found their gift ideas in 2009:

  • Retail stores 51%
  • Friend/​family member 43%
  • Online sites of retail stores 35%
  • Catalogs 33%
  • Online-​only 29%

And here’s where consumers actually purchased gifts:

  • Retail store 83%
  • Online-​only site like Amazon 47%
  • Retailer’s on-​line store 38%
  • Catalogs 13%

When it comes to satisfaction, the study found that online-​only stores and retail stores who redirected shoppers to online sites for order fulfillment tied for first at 82%. The catalog-​only channel registered a satisfaction rate of only 57%.

The study also found that nearly half of consumers stayed on or under budget when holiday shopping this past year. These consumers, besides being year-​round shoppers, shared the following traits:

  • Actively seek promotions, coupons and discounts (62%)
  • Purchase only when they have found a good deal (63%)

Do all of these statistics point to any significant trends? Analysts note that only 5% of consumers would call online shopping “a holiday tradition”.  They recommend that online retailers grow market share by tapping into ways to generate and “inspire gift-​giving ideas” for online shoppers. This strategy could blend well with another suggestion- find a way to get onto gift-​giving lists. When a friend or family member asks for and then receives a specific item,  satisfaction improves for all parties involved and revenues rise for the online retailer. Look for more marketers to increase their social networking and other online strategies to increase consumer involvement and satisfaction in 2010.

[Source: 2009 Holiday Post Mortem Survey, allen&gerritsen, January 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.