October 5, 2006, 12:00 AM

Holiday shopping—and deals—to start earlier than ever online this year

More than one-third of online buyers will start holiday shopping by Halloween. More than 60% of merchants will offer holiday promotions—boosted by increased e-mail and search marketing—by early November, according to the annual eHoliday Mood Survey.


The holidays are starting early this year-online. A survey of consumers and multi-channel merchants by Shop.org and Shopzilla shows that more than one-third of consumers will start holiday buying by Halloween. More than 60% of retailers will start holiday promotions by early November, and most plan to increase e-mail and search marketing over last year as part of that.

Specifically, 60.26% say they will boost e-mails to their house lists for the holidays. 23.38% say they’ll increase prospecting e-mails.

Virtually every retailer surveyed-97.4%-plans to invest in search engine marketing. 73.1% say they’ll invest in comparison shopping engine advertising this holiday. Alternative online marketing platforms also will get a workout in Q4, with 41.6% of retailers saying they will use blogs or RSS feeds and 79.5% saying they’ll use viral marketing campaigns. Offline, 44% of retailers say they`ll invest in newspaper advertising this holiday, 31.6% will use radio advertising, and 26.3% will do television advertising.

The fifth annual survey, this year including 2,914 online buyers and 80 online merchant members of Shop.org, was conducted by RizRate Research, which is a unit of Shopzilla.



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