eBusiness & Channel Strategy Professionals Need To Focus On Customer Retention
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- US online retail sales this holiday season will reach $44 billion,
a 12 percent increase over last year and the slowest growth rate to
date, according to Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR). This
year's weakened growth is indicative of the difficult economic
environment catching up with formerly resilient Web buyers.
Although US consumers are pessimistic about the health of the
economy, they expressed a marked interest in the ability of the Web to
save them money. Forty-eight percent of consumers surveyed, compared
with 41 percent in 2007, said that they can find the best values and
deals online. Additionally, 36 percent of consumers said that they
would be more likely to shop online due to high gas prices, compared
with 22 percent who expressed the same sentiment last year. Forrester
expects that the majority of holiday online sales will be driven by
shoppers who have previously purchased online, rather than first time
"While eCommerce has traditionally been resistant to negative
offline trends, growing concerns about the stability of the economy
are finally affecting consumers' online shopping decisions," said
Forrester Research Principal Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. "This is going
to be a very competitive online shopping season, so retailers should
take immediate steps to bolster their customer retention strategies in
order to ensure repeat purchases."
More than two-thirds of consumers surveyed said that they are
planning to spend more or about the same online as they did last year.
Core holiday product categories such as clothing will remain top
choices for online buyers, as well as books, DVDs/videos, music, gift
certificates, and toys. Respondents also indicated that they will be
seeking free shipping offers more often this year than last.
"A main attraction of the online shopping environment is the
breadth of information that it offers," said Patti Freeman Evans,
Forrester Research Vice President and Research Director. "Retailers
should expand their use of online marketing tactics on search engines
and comparison-shopping sites since shoppers are likely to be
researching the Web more thoroughly when deciding on this year's
This year's annual holiday forecast was a collaboration between
Forrester Research and JupiterResearch, now a Forrester Research
company. Two surveys were conducted to measure the attitudes and
expectations of online consumers during the upcoming holiday shopping
season, which was defined as the months of November and December. The
first survey was fielded in September 2008 and received 2,153
individual responses. The second survey was fielded in early October
2008 and received 1,042 individual responses.
The report, "Outlook For US Online Holiday Sales, 2008," directed
at eBusiness & Channel Strategy professionals, is available to
Forrester RoleView(TM) clients and can also be purchased directly at
http://www.forrester.com/go?docid=47380. The report, "US Online
Holiday Retail Forecast 2008: Maximizing Opportunity Within A Tough
Retail Climate," is available to JupiterResearch clients and can also
be purchased directly at http://tinyurl.com/onlineholidayretail
About Forrester Research
Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research
company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global
leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals
in 19 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research,
consumer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive
programs. For more than 25 years, Forrester has been making IT,
marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For
more information, visit www.forrester.com.
(C) 2008, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Forrester
and RoleView are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc.
Source: Forrester Research, Inc.