eMarketer projects online spending in the holiday months will grow 29.3% over last year, totaling $16.7 billion.
eMarketer projects online spending in the holiday months of 2004 will total $16.7 billion
This estimate, combined with data from a recent report commissioned by The Macerich Company, a major regional shopping mall developer in the USA, indicates that online retailers should prepare for the anticipated increase in web traffic earlier than usual. The report shows that US consumers are ready to shop early in order to avoid the long lines in the last days before Christmas. Specifically, 40 percent of the respondents said they would begin their “serious” holiday shopping before Thanksgiving. Almost 30 percent will shop on “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving.

This translates into two important tasks for e-retailers:

  • Now is the time to invest in a dual search engine marketing strategy, combining organic search engine optimization, and measured, targeted pay-per-click campaigns
  • Along the push to increase search engine traffic, e-commerce web sites should invest in developing a set of key performance indicators to measure the success of their web site operations. Conversion rate should be among the most important metrics for success. Other indicators in the web analytics portfolio of an e-tailer should be shopping card abandonment rate as well as ratios of return to new customers.

A helpful set of ideas on how to prepare your e-commerce site for the holiday season is generously offered by 37signals, usability consultancy.

For more on how WebSage can help you with developing a comprehensive search engine strategy and web analytics methodology, contact us for a free estimate.