In 2009, holiday shoppers were on their marks and ready to go long before the traditional Black Friday start to the season, and some retailers were behind the curve.
Evidence is coming in to suggest this year will be no different. According to a May 2010 survey by Google and OTX, 35% of US internet users have already begun their holiday shopping and research as of August. That proportion is equal to the 35% who said they planned to start in November or later.
Scot Wingo, president and CEO of online retail solutions firm ChannelAdvisor, told eMarketer he is warning retailers not to be caught off-guard this year by early holiday shopping.
“We say don’t wait until Black Friday to promote key items on your site,” Wingo told eMarketer’s Tobi Elkin in an interview.
The US economy is not yet out of the woods, but online spending figures from the first half of 2010 point to positive growth over last year and the potential—depending on future unemployment figures and consumer confidence—for a better holiday shopping season.
According to comScore, Q2 brought year-over-year growth of 9%, just under the 10% growth seen in Q1.
“The second quarter’s continuation of the first quarter’s strong retail e-commerce growth rates is encouraging,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement. “We remain cautiously optimistic heading into the second half of the year, but we will be keeping a close eye on unemployment rates, which along with potential uncertainty in the stock market could limit growth in e-commerce spending in the near term.”