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In the run up to Christmas last year, nearly half (48%) of UK internet users planned to make gift purchases online—the top response to a November 2013 survey by Lightspeed Research.
However, where people carried out their gift research was particularly interesting. A December 2013 study from Conlumino and SAS showed how retailer sites were particularly prominent in UK consumers’ minds when it came to researching gifts online. More than half of respondents said they visited retailer sites to check stock/reserve an item, check product specifications, get inspiration or else just browse. Only when it came to comparing prices did any other type of site get a look in. And even then, retailer sites weren’t far behind—34.8% of respondents visited them for this purpose, vs. 36.1% who went to comparison sites.
Consumers obviously view retailer sites as important destinations for their browsing, and indeed buying, needs—certainly if recent sales figures from high-street retailer Argos are anything to go by. And their high opinion of these types of sites carries even greater importance during the holiday season. According to Adobe research, in 2013, holiday retail ecommerce sales in the UK were forecast to account for 26% of total retail ecommerce sales for the year.
The implication for retailers is fairly straightforward—get your online presence right, and digital shoppers will follow, especially during the holiday season.
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