Holiday Survey Roundup
With the retail/multichannel holiday shopping season now all wrapped up, here's a look back at several reports over the past few weeks to provide an overview of how it all went down — both from what was predicted to what actually transpired.
* In late December, a ForeSee Results/FGI Research survey of more than 9,000 consumers showed that shoppers were pleased with the service they received during the holiday season from just two online retailers: Amazon.com and Netflix. On the other hand, they were disappointed with service from numerous others, including OfficeMax, Gap and Neiman Marcus.
The survey revealed that highly satisfied online shoppers are 73 percent more likely to shop online and 75 percent more likely to recommend shopping sites than dissatisfied Web shoppers.
* On the heels of that report came a survey in early January from Guidance, which designs, builds and maintains e-commerce Web sites. It found that 36 percent of online shoppers said they ran into roadblocks en route to buying gifts online this holiday season.
The most commonly cited problems were slow Web site response times, errors in the checkout process and overall system crashes.
* A report from GfK Roper Reports shows that many consumers aren't very upbeat for a turnaround in 2009. Just 32 percent of respondents said 2009 will be a better year than 2008, while 38 percent said it will be worse.
* What did prove effective this past holiday season were emotional advertisements. According to a survey of 8,860 consumers by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, 17.5 percent of the respondents said they were motivated to shop with a retailer once they saw the company’s ad. The retailers that ranked highest with their TV commercials were Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Macy’s and Kohl’s.
* Despite the work of advertisers, Americans planned to spend less this holiday season because of the down economy. The American Pulse survey conducted by BIGresearch polled 4,348 consumers, 56.7 percent of whom said they'll be spending less on the holidays due to the poor economic environment.
In addition to spending less, they said they'd be looking for deals when shopping: 51.2 percent said they planned to look for sales more during the 2008 holiday season than the previous year.
* To salvage what they could from the '08 holiday season, many retailers turned to the Web, and with good reason: According to a recent study from Deloitte, 71 percent of U.S. consumers made plans to spend at least part of their holiday budgets online, accounting for 24 percent of total holiday spending in 2008.