The predictions for holiday 2005 sales are rolling in fast and furious for the United States market. Here is a rundown so far:
- Forrester Research forecasts that U.S. holiday sales on the Web will top $18 Billion in 2005. That is an increase of 25% over last year, and another 2.5 million shoppers online. And 79% of retailers are offering free shipping! That’s a pretty amazing percentage doing the free shipping.
- Jupiter Research says that holiday sales online will reach $26 billion in the United States, an 18 percent increase over 2004. Jupiter also predicts that free shipping will be big this year.
Both reports indicate that what is driving more Web shopping is: (1) higher gasoline prices in the U.S., and (2) continuing broad adoption of the Web, i.e., more Americans are online and comfortable transacting business there.
For retailers that are primarily brick and mortar, doing more to push their online channels would be a good move. Also, retailers not offering free shipping will be at a competitive disadvantage — so think about offering free shipping.