It’s that time of year again, the holiday season. Where will you be doing your shopping? In 2012 U.S. holiday sales projections show sales of $586 billion, which is a 4% increase over 2011′s sales. Out of those sales last year, $92-96 billion were online sales. Online shopping is becoming increasingly popular, and 52% of consumers will shop online this holiday season. Which is another 47% increase from last year.
So, why choose to shop online and not at the retailer? When shopping online you get the see the shopping cart total before you checkout, guaranteed on-time delivery, more value for your money, clear product descriptions, and free return shipping offers and policies. Not to mention, when spending more time online this year you will have 24-hour shopping access, free shipping offers, avoid crowded stores, convenience, and it’s all around easier to compare prices and find items online.
The trend “showrooming” is growing and will affect the holiday shopping season. Showrooming is the process of going to a store to look at an item, but then searching online for the best price and, ultimately purchasing online. Of consumers, 56% are likely to participate in showrooming. And of those consumers, 27% would likely make the purchase online, using their smartphone or tablet, while they are still in the store.
The big day for online shopping is Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday takes effect on the Monday after Thanksgiving and in 2011, nearly 123 million shoppers spent a total of $1.25 billion on this day, which is a 33% increase over 2010. Consumers take advantage of Cyber Monday because retailers are usually offering free shipping, they can avoid Thanksgiving shopping crowds, and not to mention, this is the day when retailers offer their best online deals.
If you’re wondering what to get your loved ones this year, the top gift is a gift card. It’ll keep you from being that family member that buys everyone socks for Christmas. Also on the list are clothing, books/music/videos/video games, electronics/computer accessories and jewelry. Keep in mind when shopping this year to find the best deals, the Internet can be your best friends. So, remember to have fun and happy holidays!