I. People used the Internet more for socializing and celebration purposes (during the holiday season) rather than buying gift items.
During the holiday season the Internet was used to send out emails, send out holiday greetings and make holiday plans. Figures indicate that 53% of American Internet users (over 51 million people) sent emails to family and loved ones to discuss or make holiday arrangements. Also, 32% of American Internet users (over 30 million people) sent e-greeting cards to friends and relatives. Twenty-four percent of American Internet users (over 22 million people) used the internet to gather information on how to celebrate the season. Of these users, most were likely to come from high socio-economic categories (college educations, high income households).
From a marketing perspective, these figures are significant because they indicate the type of focus that a marketing program should place on this particular group (e.g. combine product offerings with user activities - e-mail, Web marketing).
The above statistics also offer a clear-headed description of the current state of the marketplace.
II. Using the Internet to browse is considered more important than buying online.
Studies show that people see the Internet as more of a gathering tool than a purchasing tool. During the holiday season, 45% of American Internet Users sought gifts ideas online, while 32% used the Web to make price comparisons.
For marketing purposes, these numbers could be considered for crafting more effective product offerings (e.g. ones that foster more direct purchases in addition to just information gathering - online-only promotions, discounts etc).
III. Online retailers have lost a large number of customers and have not made up the difference with new ones.
About 22% of American Internet users made online purchases last year during the holidays, but did not do so this time around (these people...