MarketLive® 3rd Annual Holiday Shopping Survey Indicates Consumers Will Spend More Online This Year

Saving Money Cited As Top Reason Consumers Will Buy Holiday Gifts Online; Free Shipping Most Likely To Influence Shoppers To Make a Purchase

Oct 26, 2011, 14:00 ET from MarketLive, Inc.

PETALUMA, Calif., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- MarketLive, Inc., the leading provider of enterprise-class eCommerce technology and services, today announced that its 2011 Holiday Shopper Survey shows that consumers plan to increase their holiday gift purchases from Internet retailers and provides key information that retailers can use to reach those shoppers effectively.

MarketLive has commissioned the report on holiday shopping plans, conducted by the e-tailing Group, for the last three years. The report examines consumer preferences and shopping behavior and offers retailers effective strategies for reaching holiday shoppers, winning them over and maximizing return on investment.

Key findings of this year's survey, which was conducted in September, reveal that one in five shoppers plans to buy more of their gifts online this year than last year, when shoppers said they would do 44% of their overall holiday gift buying online. This year, one in four shoppers intends to do most or all of their shopping online.  And just as last year, 48% of shoppers plan to purchase between six and 15 gifts this year – but more of those shoppers are at the higher end of that range than was the case last year.

"This survey is important because it provides a very precise roadmap that retailers can use to maximize sales this holiday season," said Ken Burke, founder and chairman of MarketLive. "It provides a wealth of information – everything from how to execute the optimal discounting strategies, and determine the frequency of email blasts to the ideal way to utilize Facebook for merchandising and selling this holiday season.  With these keys, successful retailers can turn browsers into buyers."

Online Holiday Spending Trends for 2011

More findings from the survey include:

  • Nearly half of shoppers (48%) plan to spend between $300 and $800 on holiday gifts this year, compared with 46% who planned to do so a year ago.
  • The vast majority (83%) of shoppers intend to buy at least some of their gifts online, almost identical to the number (82%) who had the same intentions a year ago.
  • More than six in ten (61%) shoppers – compared with 67% a year ago – intend to research products online and via mobile devices before purchasing them as gifts.
  • Saving money jumped to the top of the list of reasons shoppers cited for buying gifts online, rising to 79% this year from 72% a year ago. It was followed closely by saving time, which was listed by 77% of shoppers this year and 78% last year. Shoppers also said they would buy gifts online to locate hard-to-find products (76% this year versus 79% in 2010), avoid crowded stores (73% versus 72%), ship gifts easily (73% versus 70%), and take advantage of greater selections (73% versus 67%).

The Key to Retail Strategies:  Value

Retail promotions and merchandising strategies should be built to consider the following:

  • The percentage of shoppers who say they will not pay full price for gifts this holiday season is down to 37% from 45% a year ago.
  • One-third of respondents (32%) say they will pay full price for a "perfect" gift; that's a sharp increase from 17% a year ago. Three in 10 -- down from 38% a year ago – say they will do so for a hard-to-find product requested by a friend or family member.
  • Free shipping (83%) is the promotional feature most likely to influence shoppers to make a purchase, but that percentage is down from 92% a year ago. Fewer shoppers also say they will be influenced by free returns (73% versus 81% a year ago) and clear identification of sales and specials (70% versus 81% in 2010).  The percentage of shoppers who say they will be influenced by coupons and rebates (73%) is identical to last year.
  • Consumers still prefer to receive e-mails weekly – 39% versus 40% in 2010 and 43% in 2009.
  • Shoppers prefer e-mails that offer free shipping (80%), sales and markdowns (79%), or coupons (73%), but percentages in all three categories were down from 2010.

About MarketLive

Since 1995, MarketLive, Inc. has been the leading provider of enterprise-class eCommerce retail technology and services that help fast-growing companies successfully sell goods and services online. The MarketLive platform is the most retail-targeted, fully featured, customizable eCommerce solution on the market today. MarketLive powers many successful retail eCommerce sites, including Armani, Neutrogena, Party City, Sports Chalet, Sundance, Design within Reach, Helzberg, John Deere, Title Nine, Intermix and others.

Visit the MarketLive at

Elizabeth Gordon

SOURCE MarketLive, Inc.