After Q3 2011 brought a 13 percent increase in e-commerce sales, Forrester is estimating that U.S. online holiday sales will grow 15 percent this year to nearly $60 billion. The study reports that this increase will take place because of the increase in consumer-use of tablet computers for shopping combined with a growth in online holiday deals.
Of course, it’s surprising that there would be a significant growth in holiday retail spending considering the economy and market volatility. But Forrester says that retailers are taking advantage of the ‘price-savvy’ shopper and presenting more lucrative deals for online shopping and free shipping offers, especially on high-volume shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The report shows that 58 percent of Americans say they are more price-conscious today than they were a year ago and nearly half believe they find better values online. And 50 percent of Americans who own a tablet use the device to research products for purchase with 30 percent of smartphone owners using their mobile device to research products for purchase at least monthly (which is a 30 percent increase in just the past year). And more and more online retailers will be offering better shopping experiences on mobile and tablet devices t take advantage of these trends.
Forrester also says that 12 percent of the total growth in sales will result from an increase in spending per buyer as opposed to more buyers entering the market. In January, comScore reported that 2010 online holiday spending reached a record $33 billion, which was up 12 percent from 2009. Forrester estimates last year’s spending at just over $50 billion.
With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday only weeks away, we’ll see soon if shoppers flock online and to mobile platforms for deals and savings, as is predicted. While the current technology trends and proliferation of deals could boost e-spending, even weather could be a factor in pushing holiday sales to record levels.