January 15, 2014, 4:06 PM

Why e-retailers might see more consumer spending in 2014

Consumers expect to make and save more money in 2014, and most plan to shop online either the same amount or more than last year. But they also want more from retail web sites.

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Online consumers expect to earn more money this year and they hope that online retailers will offer them more ways to save, according to a new report from online coupon provider RetailMeNot Inc.

Using data from The Omnibus Company, a consumer market research agency, the “Retail Forecast for 2014” report found that 87% of consumers planning to shop online are planning to shop the same amount or more as in 2013 with 13% planning to shop less or not at all.

The report says consumers will spend more because 68% of those surveyed expect their incomes to improve in 2014.  Most of those consumers, though, plan to anchor their shopping on sales days and during holiday periods, when retailers tend to offer ample discounts.  For the 2014 holiday season, 54% of consumers say they will shop sale days, with 36% planning to shop the Friday after Thanksgiving, or Black Friday, and 32% planning to shop the Monday after Thanksgiving, or Cyber Monday, according to the report. Both have become big sales days in stores and online.

Consumers also expect better service and product selection from retailers in 2014 than in the previous year.  24% of consumers say they want retailers to offer wider product selections online than in stores, and 44% want retailers to offer in-store pickup of products ordered online.  Another 23% said they want a “more seamless experience between their in-store and online shopping activities.”

While the report says that consumers still mainly shop from personal computers, mobile commerce is coming on strong.  82% of consumers plan to use their computers the same amount or more for online shopping. That compares with 18% who plan on using their computers less or not at all in 2014 to shop online.  48% intend to use their smartphones to shop the same amount or more in 2014 compared with 52% who plan to use their smartphones less or not at all.  42% of consumers say they will use their tablets to shop online the same amount or more, with the rest planning to use their tablets less or not at all.

Omnibus’s survey was conducted between Dec. 2, 2013 and Jan. 3, 2014 among 1,014 U.S. residents who received an e-mail invitation to take an online survey.

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