|Online retailers push free shipping, early promotions for holidays|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Friday, 18 October 2013 05:02 PM EDT|
Free-shipping offers from online retailers will not be hard to find this holiday season.
According to Shop.org’s eHoliday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, 16.3% of retailers will offer their first holiday free shipping offer by the week of Oct. 28; more than one-third (34.9%) said they already offer year-round free-shipping, compared to 23.1% last year. Additionally, more than half (51.2%) of online retailers surveyed plan to start their online holiday marketing promotions by Halloween.
“Retailers have been preparing for holiday for months, smartly investing in what’s important to online shoppers: value, free shipping, a user-friendly site and flexible returns, among other features,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “Retailers understand that holiday shoppers also look for merchandise selection and quality, and have boosted inventory to offer ample selection and exclusive products to help customers find just the right gift for everyone on their list.”
The economy also has had an impact on how retailers have changed their company’s plans for the 2013 holiday season. Specifically, more than one-quarter (27.3%) said they will offer free shipping earlier because of the economy. Discounts will also come earlier with 31.8% planning to offer discounts earlier than they did last year, and another 31.8% will increase their use of daily deals for their customers.
Many companies also will focus more on social media this year. More than half (54.8%) will increase their use of Facebook in November and December, and 59.5% will increase their use of Pinterest. Additionally, 55% of companies surveyed will increase their use of Instagram.