FORECAST: (Online) sales in holiday season.

Two weeks ago I was discussing amount of holiday sales this year. I did not have the answer & we changed the topic. But thanks to eMarketer, here I am with the holiday sales forecast for the year. This year total online holiday sales  will be near to $32.1 billion, with a growth rate of 10.1% over 2007. This suggests a sharp decline in growth rate since last year & in fact lowest growth rate since 2003. Keeping the economic condition in mind, I am sure this did not come to you as a surprise.

As we can see, economic turmoil is clearly affecting e-commerce sales this season. To tacking this economic downturn, customers will use variety of strategies to buy holiday gifts & make optimal utilization of their money. They will turn to deals & discounts on internet, find bargains.

Shoppers will shift a larger share of their purchases from stores to the Internet to save gas money and avail themselves of retailers’ free shipping offers. Says Jeffrey Grau, Senior Analyst at eMarketer.

This phenomenon will lead to higher spending on internet.The spending is expected to shift from stores to online stores, according to a recent survey conducted by the e-tailing group. This year 49% of holiday gift spending among US Internet users will occur online, compared with 44% in stores—making this the first time the Web has surpassed the store as the preferred channel for Internet users to purchase holiday gifts.

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