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Holiday shopping: A shift to digital?

November 15, 2012

According to a recent MediaPost article entitled “E-Comerce Retailers: Holidays May Propel $68B in Sales,”Forrester is predicting that the coming holiday season will generate approximately $68.4 billion in domestic online sales, with the average U.S. shopper spending approximately $419 online — a 12% boost over last year.

“This optimism is largely due to ever-increasing numbers of consumers choosing the Web over physical stores and the rise in mobile commerce,” Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru states, adding “Consumers continue to be price-conscious and will use the Web to research and look for money-saving offers, like exclusive deals and free shipping — especially on key holiday dates.”

In another recent piece, “Less Store Traffic As Black Friday Shifts To Cyberspace,” MediaPost reports that the National Retail Federation is predicting a drop in mall shoppers but increased online spending: a 3.1% bump in Black Friday sales. Cyber Monday sales are expected to jump, as well — 4.3% above last year’s results, when sales on that day hit $1.25 billion.

Nevertheless, as reported in Adweek’s “Data Points: Digital Holidays,” a recent Ipsos MediaCT/Google survey reports that while “just over half will research online and buy in store, a growing number plan to visit stores first and then look for bargains on the item online,” and while internet rated highest as “Most Useful Information Sources for Holiday Shopping,”off-line marketing such as store circulars, in-store displays and television ads ranked high as well.