Holidays: Sellers Cautiously Optimistic

Online merchants are 'prepared to meet the challenges.'

by staff writer
- Sep 23, 2010

While online sellers say they're optimistic that revenue during this year's holiday season will surpass last year's, only about a third of them expect to see a significant increase, a new survey shows.

Just 31 percent of the more than 250 retailers polled by The E-tailing Group say they expect their sales to grow more than 10 percent this year, compared to their 2009 sales figures. Twice that number—61 percent—say they are "cautiously optimistic" their holiday sales will indeed grow. Another 18 percent say they are optimistic, and 9 percent say they are somewhat pessimistic. Only 2 percent say they are pessimistic about the holidays, while 9 percent worry their sales will decline.

Still, retailers will do what they can when the holidays roll around to draw buyers. More than 80 percent say they will offer some type of free shipping, from unconditional free shipping for all items, to free shipping on certain products. Others will go the mobile route to attract buyers by texting shoppers with special offers and sales, and offering reviews.

More than 90 percent of retailers will market their items on social networking sites, as well. And nearly 40 percent will be more aggressive with their Facebook and Twitter promotions than they were a year ago, the survey finds.

"Respondents confirm that e-tailers have a cautious, yet positive, mindset and are prepared to meet the challenges ahead," notes Laura Freedman, president of The E-tailing Group.

About the Author

Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.

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