New York, NY (PRWEB) January 31, 2007
Several studies conducted by online market research firms show that spending on the Internet about holiday gifts is increasing, and Valentine’s does no exception. As the holiday shopping season 2006 draws to a close, retailers look towards Valentine’s as the next big gift giving during the New Year. For those stores not offering traditional gifts like flowers and gift cards, there are efforts to attract consumers with unique gift ideas and convenience of shopping online.
The Internet has been directly and indirectly responsible for nearly $ 300 billion in consumer spending in the last year. Not only are more people make more purchases online, but consumers are researching products online before buying in physical stores, (according to the findings of a survey conducted by the Dieringer Research Group in Milwaukee).
study and others like her, found that one of the main driving forces behind the trend towards online shopping is convenience. Consumers like to be able to quickly compare prices and read reviews from other consumers before committing to a purchase.
Last year, data compiled by the trend showed that PayPal purchases online sales for the first two weeks of February increased by 23% in 2005, with the majority of sales attributed to candy, jewelry and flowers.
In another 2006 survey by research and marketing company Questus, half of respondents said they spend more on gifts Valentine’s because of the Internet. Two fifths of respondents said that if it weren ‘t for shopping online, they wouldn’ t give gifts Valentine’s to all. Forty percent of all Valentine’s Day gift-buyers said they would find their gifts online, and 20% who said they shop at physical stores planned to do some research online first.
The same survey also showed that the majority of people buy a wider variety of gifts if they shopped online, although flowers, chocolate / candy and jewelry / watches still made the top of the list.
Questus Another survey in November 2006 showed that a significant proportion of online shoppers preferred sites that changed their appearance to reflect the holiday spirit. Google, the search engine often used, is known to adapt their logo to match various holidays and occasions.
many online retailers are benefiting from these trends by courting buyers Valentine’s at the beginning of February. Linenplace.com, an online luxury bed and bath linen store on the Web since 2000, caught the virus of love with ‘decoration’ home page for the holidays and romantic gift ideas offering.
asked why Linenplace.com chosen to focus on the ‘s Day when they don’ t sell Valentine gifts classics as chocolates, Heather Young, Vice President, said: “While few people wouldn ‘t be pleased by the usual fare of candy and teddy bears, we think that people should consider breaking with tradition and surprising their loved one with a luxury bathrobe or a set of satin sheets nice. In addition I can tell you from personal experience that bedding lasts much longer than a box of chocolates. “
shopping online has its drawbacks. Shoppers may be skeptical of online merchants, they have never shopped at before, because it can be difficult to say whether the images accurately reflect the product, and if the store has a secure payment and ship items quickly. How do online shoppers against retailers’ natural fear of disappointing their Valentines? Surveys show the in-depth product descriptions, reviews and experts, and availability of customer service can help keep customers turn to stores of brick and mortar before finally making a purchase.
Ms. Young, like many who have been in business online for years, is already aware of customer concerns: “A Linenplace, we try to be as accurate as we can to describe our products – and we test almost everything we put ourselves before we place on the site. We also have our buyer review each sheet set. When customers call us with questions, they also talk with me or another employee well-versed around the world sheets, not a customer service representative reading from a script. “
The Internet is a major player in today’s market, not only as a convenient alternative to physical stores, but also as an influencer of consumer behavior. Online retailers are trying to stay on top of the trend in refining their sites to improve the customer experience.
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