February 10 – 14, 2012
The Wall Street Journal reports that FedEx Corp.’s forecast
for record holiday shipping this year shows that U.S. customers are buying more things online.
FedEx said late last month it expects to handle about 260
million shipments between Thanksgiving and Christmas,
or 12 percent more than last year. The Memphis, Tenn.,
company attributed the bulk of its anticipated rise in
volume to inexpensive, e-commerce shipments through
its SmartPost residential service, in which postal carriers
make final deliveries and packages are mostly lightweight.
Consulting firm Deloitte reported that the average consumer
will complete one-third of her holiday shopping with online
retailers this year, according to a survey of more than
5,000 U.S. consumers. Eleven percent of online shoppers
say they will spend more online this year than last. Those
consumers cite convenience (73 percent) and better prices
(63 percent) as the main reasons why they’ll do more
shopping with e-retailers in 2011.
More consumers say they’ll shop online this year, 48
percent compared with 35 percent a year ago. And fewer
consumers say they’ll shop at discount department stores,
48 percent compared with 58 percent a year ago, Deloitte
said. When it comes to the most likely venue where consumers will buy their holiday presents, the Web ties with
discount department stores.
When shopping online, consumers say low prices (48 percent) are the most important factor in helping them decide
where to buy, followed by free shipping ( 20 percent) and
selection ( 11 percent). Sixty-nine percent of consumers
who will shop online say they are more likely to buy from
an e-retailer if it offers free shipping.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday
Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by
BIGresearch, holiday shoppers say they plan to spend
out an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal
merchandise, down slightly from last year’s $718.98. The
report is forecasting overall holiday retail sales to grow 2. 8
percent during the months of November and December to