Online holiday shopping to skyrocket

Posted by Mark Raby

A holiday shopping forecast predicted by The Performics 50, a self-titled representative index of online search advertising, states that fourth quarter 2006 online sales will eclipse those of last year by more than 50%.

The index made the prediction based on the growth of paid search advertising. "Experienced (search engine marketing) and program managers are harnessing the full value of search and realizing that maintaining an aggressively managed campaign online - one that drives online sales, offline sales, increases brand awareness and maximizes your search budget - is critical to overall marketing success. This potentially means big business for the final quarter of 2006 and the upcoming holiday season," said Cam Balzer, director of search strategy at Performics.

Based on their data, The Performics 50 is forecasting a 53% increase in online sales during the final quarter of 2006 from the same period in 2005. This will be about equal to the total sales of both Q1 and Q2 2006, combined, according to Performics.

The Performics forecast also noted that the competition for higher-priced and more popular keywords in sponsored search engine advertising has increased significantly.