Whether as an e-commerce engine or an information resource, the Web is continually increasing its reach into retail. But how significant will it be this holiday season? A recent survey conducted by BIGresearch on behalf of the National Retail Federation polled holiday shoppers on how they plan to use the Internet for the current selling season. Overall the research firm found that around 28.9 percent of total shopping budgets of those surveyed would be used online in one form or another. But e-commerce is not the only reason they will be going to the Web.
“While many shoppers plan to purchase holiday gifts online this year, others are using the Internet to look for gift ideas, research products and compare prices before heading to the store,” says Scott Silverman, executive director of the online retail division of NRF. “Retailers’ ongoing efforts to make their stores and Web sites work hand-in-hand will create more sales and happier customers.”
The survey also found that 47.1 percent of consumers plan to make at least one holiday purchase online this year and that many will also use the Internet to browse or do research before heading to stores to buy. Additionally, 88.7 percent say they regularly or occasionally examine products on the Internet before buying in a store.