Black Friday is behind us and we are awaiting the numbers from the retailers. One thing that is certain, the online gift purchase is the “New Cool” in many households, and I think that I know why…
Sarah and I braved the crowds in one retailer yesterday for just two items. It was an experience that I can add to my been-there-done-that list! After a 3am start with the lines at the store and in the parking lot… I want to be one of the cool-kids who shop online.
That experience is why I agree with the Marketing Charts blog survey; that online gift shopping is cool.
The survey reports that “85% of web-shoppers say that the primary reason for shopping online is still time savings.” In fact, “last year was the first year that the web surpassed the store as the preferred way for multi-channel shoppers to purchase holiday gifts.”
As the gift purchasing public continues to shift toward the convenience and variety of the ecommerce world, the social networks will play a larger roll. Combining the “Cool” of the networks, like Facebook and Twitter with the trend of online shopping, should create great retail opportunities in the future.
The marketing study found that “social networking sites will influence shopping behavior for 37% of online shoppers vs. 24% last year.” These numbers would indicate that by adding the friend to friend influence of social networks and hot-links out to retailers, the cool-crowd of online shoppers will continue to expand.
As the trend toward online gift purchasing grows, so does the list of gift-selling facilitators. Entrepreneurs are building applications that allow social networking friends to influence others into the online buying experience. A growing group of links between Amazon, Facebook and PayPal are allowing developers to facilitate these purchasing interactions between friends.
The new mimics of traditional off-line activities like gift parties are providing ways for the network of friends to make shopping online even more fun.
So in 2009 the cool kids are moving the rest of us toward the convenience of online gift shopping. Combine this pressure, with the growing number of businesses that want to assist us to make the move, and 2010 looks hot for online gift sales.