Online Marketers Prepare for Upcoming Holiday Season

As consumers begin to think about holiday shopping, they’ll be using online sources to find information and bargains.  In preparing for the busy season, marketers should consider the best ways to attract consumer attention. They should also provide the kind of data that encourages shoppers to click the buy button. Here are a few details from ChannelAdvisor’s recently published survey on this topic.

When shoppers browse online for gifts they look at the following sources:

  • Search engines 59%
  • Marketplaces 28%
  • Directories 10%
  • Other 3%

The marketplace category includes Amazon and eBay.  Amazon continues to be the clear category winner here. The company is the ‘first choice’ with 43% of shoppers while eBay holds first place with 22%  of shoppers.

To sell more goods, marketers must not only be present where shoppers are searching. Marketers must also excel in the criteria shoppers say are most important as they decide where to purchase items:

  • Best prices 90%+
  • Free shipping 90%+
  • Trusted seller status 70%+
  • Discount coupons 60%+

The factors listed above may draw consumers to a marketer’s site but there’s an additional data point that makes a big difference in generating sales: Comments.  Over 90% of online shoppers pay attention to comments about a product listed on a marketer’s site.  About ½ of people (46%) make purchases based on positive comments and 43% indicate that negative comments prevent them from buying.

ChannelAdvisor analysts suggest that marketers offer discount coupons to satisfied customers to increase the number of positive comments on the site. In addition, marketers should maximize the number of channels displaying their products in order to boost sales as year-​end approaches.

[Source: 2010 Consumer Habits Shopping Survey. ChannelAdvisor. 2010. Web. 8 Sept. 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.