Online holiday sales grow with satisfied customers

Online retailers have found themselves with increased sales and high levels of customer satisfaction, according to the findings of a recent survey.

The third installment of the 2003 eHoliday Mood Study, conducted by Shop.org and BizRate.com, found that a majority of retailers’ average daily transactions and site traffic during the first two weeks of December have increased compared to the same two-week period of the previous year. For the holiday season so far, nearly half of retailers (49%) have seen holiday sales increase more than 35% over 2002.

Retailers seem to be managing the increased activity and sales well. According to the survey, 88% of consumers are somewhat or very satisfied with their online buying experience this holiday.

“Today’s time-strapped consumer may not always have the opportunity to dedicate an entire day to holiday shopping,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org, the online division of the National Retail Federation. “Because online shopping is so quick and convenient, online retailers are proving themselves to be a great alternative to shopping at the mall.”

Online retailers have also been successful providing online tools that help shoppers select gifts this holiday, according to the survey. In fact, 35% of retailers said that “gift idea centers” were their most successful site feature and another 29% cited “suggested items” as their most successful shopping tool. However, “product promotions” were still the biggest draw, with 39% of retailers choosing it as their best feature.

The eHoliday Mood Study is based on data provided directly from online retailers in addition to consumer data. The third of four installments, which represents the two-week buying period between Nov. 30 and Dec. 13, includes data from more than 80 leading Internet and multi-channel retailers—all Shop.org members.