Holiday Marketing: Biz as Usual

Online shoppers can expect fewer perks this season. The “2006 Online retail Holiday Readiness Report” from WebTrends finds an increase in the number of retailers who plan “no special offers” for customers this holiday season.

Last year 11 percent of online retailers refrained from introducing special offers to holiday shoppers. This year the number has doubled to 23 percent of eCommerce sites. Rebates, bundle offers, free shipping and discounts for repeat buyers are among the promotional efforts expected to take a hit this season.

“This year, twice as many retailers are opting to see what happens without any promotions at all,” the report said. “Is it a case of retailers saying ‘bah humbug’ to the idea that free shipping can develop customer loyalty? Or do they feel that they don’t need to lose that revenue in order to attract repeat business?”

E-mail marketing is considered to be the most important demand-generating activity by both Internet-only and online/offline retailers. Search engine marketing ranks second and search engine optimization ranks third across both groups of retailers. Internet-plus-catalog catalog retailers and retailers with business in online, store and catalog channels place a high priority on direct mail campaigns.

Spending on banner ads, print and broadcast advertising are expected to decline this holiday season as budgets for e-mail marketing, SEO and SEM expand, according to WebTrends.

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