Holiday Shopping Expectations

Catalogs and top toy lists are making their way into U.S. homes, but what do the decision-makers in those households and others expect when they go to buy for their family, friends and themselves this holiday season? 

In a word: everything; and Amazon is poised to provide exactly that. NetElixir suggests that the ecommerce giant's share of total online holiday sales will likely grow 34 percent this year (climbing to more than $28.5 billion).

The result of this absolute and total ecommerce dominance could be that shoppers become frustrated when visiting other stores. Will the content of their shopping carts be saved and used to personalize future product recommendations? Will they get sticker shock from shipping costs they did not take into account? Will they become irritated when they use on-site search to find the perfect gift only to see "zero results found" or some other error to which they are not accustomed?

The list of consumer expectations is extensive, of course, but retailers are facing a far more serious issue: the incredible growth in ecommerce sales that were enjoyed in year's past just might level out in 2017.

NetElixir projects that online sales this holiday season will reach 10 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth, which - if that projection comes true - will be the lowest YoY increase since 2013 (according to comScore data). In other words, it seems that people have sorted out where they shop online and how much they shop online for gifts.

The good news is that we know a lot about what makes a conversion- and return-worthy website; in this month's Website Magazine Stat Watch, we look at what shoppers want and need before, during and after a purchase.


Forty percent of consumers expect to access Amazon Prime-style memberships in the next 1-3 years versus 25 percent of retailers who plan to introduce these services in the same period.

(Temando/Research Now, 2017)


Shoppers want to use multiple channels to make a single purchase with 57.5 percent of survey respondents now taking advantage of buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). The overwhelming top reason for BOPIS selection is to save on shipping.

(iVend Retail, 2016-2017)


Shoppers are willing to pay up to $18 for same-day delivery and $19 for international shipping, and 65 percent would increase basket size to qualify for free premium shipping.

(Temando/Research Now, 2017)


Thirty-five percent of shoppers say their mobile/smartphone will become their main purchasing tool, yet 24 percent of U.S. consumers think mobile sites are not easy to use.

(PwC, 2017)


Delivery tracking is a potentially major area for improvement with only 31 percent of retailers offering email tracking updates today, despite demand or interest from 78 percent of shoppers.

(Temando/Research Now, 2017)