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Kicking Off the Online Holiday Season

Retailers and consumers are ready

The beginning of November means holiday season shopping is starting in earnest, with millions of internet users hitting retail sites to find gifts for friends and family. eMarketer expects it to be a record year for online holiday shopping.

According to a National Retail Federation (NRF) survey conducted by BIGinsight, just over two in five US internet users had already begun shopping for the holidays by October. But another two in five will be starting this month—and online retailers are gearing up for them.

Shop.org research, also conducted by BIGinsight, found that 38.5% of online retailers in the US planned to launch their holiday marketing campaigns before the week of October 29, with about a quarter starting that week. The beginning of November marks a clear ramp-up period for online retail marketing efforts.

Top planned promotions, according to the survey of retailers, include coupons (47.5%), conditional offers of free shipping (37.5%) and limited-time promotions (32.5%).

According to Rackspace Hosting, most US retailers generate at least a quarter of their total holiday sales online, including more than 40% that generate a majority of holiday sales on the web. eMarketer estimates US retailers will earn $54.47 billion online during November and December this year, up 16.8% over online holiday season sales in 2011.

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