Online retailers are optimistic about the holiday season

The month of November brought good cheer to online retailers, according to the second installment of the Shop.org/BizRate.com 2002 Online Holiday Mood Study. According to the study, 71% of online retailers are feeling optimistic about the holiday season, an increase of 8% over two weeks ago.

The study is a holiday measurement tool based on data provided directly from online retailers. The second of four installments, which represents the two-week buying period between November 17 and November 30, includes data from 59 leading Internet and multi-channel retailers—all Shop.org members.

During the second two weeks of November, almost one-third (31%) of retailers posted revenue increases of 50% or greater compared to the same period last year and 58% posted increases of 25% or greater, according to the survey.

“Retailers selling online have good reason to be optimistic,” said Scott Silverman, Executive Director of Shop.org. “Online retailers have been consistently improving the customer experience and consumers are rewarding them by doing more holiday shopping on their sites.”

Free shipping is a clear winner when it comes to promotions that drive business, according to the study. More than half of online retailers (51%) said that free shipping with conditions was the most successful promotion for driving business at their sites. As far as marketing vehicles, retailers cited email (69%) and search engine placements (34%) as most successful for reaching online buyers.

The study also suggests that consumers are shifting their holiday buying from catalogs to online. Online buyers surveyed on December 2 and 3 as part of the study indicated that they plan to spend more online (35%) this holiday season and less in catalogs (47%).