More than half of online retailers (56.1%) expect their holiday sales to increase at least 15% over last year – although last year’s survey had found that three-fourths (77.5%) expected their sales to grow more than 15%.
“Online retailers are resilient, but not immune, to the challenges of this holiday season,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org. “Retailers will be heavily promotional to attract shoppers on a budget, but have also invested in new site features to improve the online buying experience.”
Many retailers have rolled out new website features to improve the customer experience. Site search, which 42.9% of retailers added or improved since last holiday season, will help customers navigate sites more easily, for example.
Other features, like product video (42.6%) and customer reviews (32.7%) can give shoppers more information to make buying decisions.
For price-focused shoppers, retailers have added and enhanced both clearance-sale pages (27.1%) and featured-sale pages (31.3%).
In addition, retailers continue to experiment with social networking: Nearly one-fourth (25.0%) of online retailers added a Facebook page this year.