With the holidays rapidly approaching, retailers are anxiously trying to think up of new ways to get the people to open up their wallets. And this situation is not surprising - the success of the entire year will be determined to a large extent on profits generated in the next two months. Although shoppers still remain a bit reluctant to loosen the stings of their wallets, market analysts and retailers alike are much more optimistic about the results than they were last year.
A recent report by Jefferey Grau, one of eMarketer's leading analysts, predicts a 14.3% rise in online sales over the same period last year. This growth is expected to boost season sales to $38.5 billion, up from $33.7 billion last year. Grau predicts that “This holiday season consumers will open their wallets more than they have the past two years, even though they will remain extremely price-focused. Online consumers have become savvy at finding coupons, comparing prices, locating cheaper product alternatives, and exchanging shopping tactics and information about bargains with peers through social media." The key to the hearts of the customers will be held by the retailers that manage to offer rich product information, easy return policies and friendly customer service representatives.
Here, at WebSitePulse, we are curious to find out how the online retailers will handle the holiday pressure and the high loads of traffic. That is why between November 22, 2010 and January 5, 2011 we will be monitoring ten of the most popular online shopping destinations for the 2010 Holiday Season. The detailed results will be available here and, if you are feeling lucky, you can venture a guess as to who will end up on the top of the uptime table this year.
May the holiday race begin!