Online Sales Projected to Rise this Holiday Season

eMarketer released a report yesterday predicting that online sales will be 5.4% higher this holiday season than in 2008. While this growth is not as high as in years past, it is still a sharp increase over the 5.7% decline during last year’s holiday season. This is good news for all e-commerce businesses and a trend that will hopefully continue into 2010.

While consumers will spend more this year, they will also shop around more and spend time looking for the best deal. There are a few changes you can make to your site and interactive campaigns to take advantage of these behaviors.

First, it is very important to make sure that the offer in your ad is clearly and easily seen on your landing page. If someone clicks on an ad for 20% off and doesn’t see that same offer on your site, they won’t bother searching around the site for it. They will leave and look for a deal from your competitors.

Next, you need to keep a close eye on your cost per conversion (or whatever your key metric is). Especially with search engine marketing, an increased number of shoppers results in increased clicks. This can be great for web traffic, but can also drastically increase your costs. It is important to make sure that the increased traffic is resulting in increased sales.

Finally, make sure your ad/email/site stand out from the crowd. Just today I received 10 different holiday sale emails, most of which I deleted immediately. I only opened the ones with the most intriguing offers. Add to this the number of ads I would have seen if I was actually shopping and you can see how overwhelming the online shopping experience can be for consumers. However, for companies that are providing great deals and a simple buying process, there is much to gain during this holiday season.

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