For online retailers, the year-long wait is over as the shopping season is in full swing now. Despite a sluggish recovery, there is no shortage of enthusiasm for online shoppers who are already on a buying spree. Thanks to flexible and innovative strategies of online retailers, the web shoppers are finding it more convenient to shop online.

Around 72 percent of the 2000 shoppers interviewed in a survey conducted by a renowned online retail platform provider in the United States said that this holiday season, they are planning to shop for various gifts and items online, instead of the regular brick and mortar stores. The reasons for this shift in preference largely because of the following:

• Ease of buying (79%)
• No need to queue up (72%)
• Option to compare products through comparison sites (63%)
• Attractive deals and discounts (61%),
• Vast collection of items (51%)
• Efficient customer service (50%)
• Fuel savings (49%)
• Free or low-cost shipping and lower sales tax (36%)

In fact, a good number of them had begun their shopping before Thanksgiving itself and the sales on Cyber Monday marked a new record. Only 2 to 4 percent consumers said that they would begin after December 15 and a good percentage is going to wait for more lucrative online shopping deals and discounts to complete their holiday gift shopping.

Though they follow a single point agenda of buying the best product from a online shopping store, the shoppers are to an extent divided in their preference as to what do they expect from an online shopping store before deciding to shop from there. Comparison-shopping is the buzzword as 63% shoppers affirmed that they would make their purchases from 3 to 4 different sites and 23% said that they would consider 6 to 7 web sites. The factors that will influence their website decision include lower prices (69 percent), deals and discounts (65%), site loyalty or previous experience with the online retailer (32%), amongst others. Many online shopper prefer sites that have return policies that are pretty much flexible (26%), have positive customer feedback (20%) and even give away freebies with purchases (15%).

Books, video and audio stuff dominates what with more than 54% of online retail store visitors preferring them to other things followed by Electronics at 50%. Food items, cards, furnishing items, jewelry and fashion garments and accessories are amongst other preferred gift options for shoppers this holiday season.

However, 28 percent of shoppers still prefer to shop from regular high street stores and they have some unique reasons for continuing the tradition. The majority prefers seeing the thing physically before making the purchases while 25 percent people just love the feel of shopping in stores, braving the crowd and enjoying the festive spirit. Naturally, the 75% of those 28% brick-and-mortar lovers are the real ‘unconverted’ customers of online retail store owners and next hurdle for these ecommerce store owners is to convince these people to shop online instead of buying from physical shops. Again, the name of the game will be to innovate, attractive and more useful for their online customers.

Author's Bio: 

I am associated with LAN Services, LLC, an online store solution provider based in California, USA. A decade in the information technology market of the United States and with 500+ satisfied customers, LAN Services (a Microsoft Certified Partner) have now an enviable list of worldwide clientele. Our core area of expertise is in Microsoft Dynamics RMS and POS 2009 integrated shopping cart solution developed on .NET platform.