$32 billion forecasted for online holiday sales

Posted by Mark Raby

Jupiter Research today released its traditional sales forecast for this year's major holiday shopping season. According to the forecast, online holiday retail sales will climb to $32 billion, up 18% over 2005. The research firm predicts a record number of online purchasers this year.

According to the report, 114 million users will use the Internet to do at least some of their holiday purchasing this year, a record amount that translates into a 6% increase over last year.

According to Jupiter, shipping calendars provided by most etailers are important to consumers. "More than half of online holiday shoppers say that seeing shipping cut off dates helps them plan their shopping for earlier in the season," the firm wrote in a press release.

The predictions are especially important to big-name online retailers, which often offer sweeping discounts on merchandise or shipping costs. David Schatsky, President of JupiterKagan, outlined a strategy that online stores can usually offer better than brick-and-mortar retailers: User-specific deals. "One strategy is to use upgrades to free shipping strategically with customer segments that are particularly sensitive to shipping costs, and less aggressive offers to buyers who have purchased last minute at full shipping in the past," said Schatsky.