Shoppers will see changes in retail marketing and promotions this holiday season in response to economic uncertainty, according to results of Shop.org's eHoliday Study, conducted by BIGresearch. Shop.org is a division of the National Retail Federation. As one sign of the times, free shipping offers will abound this holiday season. Four out of five online retailers (79.4 percent) will offer free shipping with conditions at some point during the holiday season, while more than half (57.4 percent) also plan to offer free shipping without conditions. More than one-third (35.7 percent) said their budgets for free shipping are higher than last year, and nearly as many (30.0 percent) said free shipping offers will start earlier than a year ago.
Some 47.1 percent of retailers surveyed will be increasing their use of social media this holiday season. More than half said they have added or improved their Facebook page (60.3 percent) and Twitter pages (58.7 percent) this year, while two-thirds (65.6 percent) have added or enhanced blogs and RSS feeds. In addition, to provide consumers with an extra incentive to start shopping, one-third of retailers (34.3 percent) say they will offer holiday deals earlier this year.
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