Sucharita Mulpuru


By Sucharita Mulpuru



Today, Forrester releases its 2009 US Online Holiday Retail Forecast, a deep dive into our projections for the crucial retail months of November and December.


We project online retail sales to reach $44.7 billion during November and December, a year-over-year increase of 8% — evidence of the online space’s proven status as the retail industry’s growth engine. We expect this growth to be driven by the increasing number of online holiday buyers and by the large retailers gaining market share from their smaller counterparts.


The Index of Consumer Sentiment, as well as our own pre-holiday survey show that consumers will be shopping, but will also hold a tight grip on their purse strings. For example, 39% of online consumers plan to wait before making a purchase to see if the items they want will go on sale and 24% of online holiday buyers intend to try lower-cost alternatives to the brands they typically purchase.


The current economic environment makes this holiday season especially unique. Unlike previous holiday seasons, online retailers will manage to the bottom line, rather than chase sales. To this end, they plan to implement tactics like keeping leaner inventories, increasing customer engagement, or enhancing their online merchandising and social shopping tools.


Look to Forrester to provide you with updates and further consumer data as we roll into the holiday season. Happy selling!