IBM Online Retail Index Points to a Strong Holiday Season

Written on
Oct 29, 2012 
Press Release  |

As retailers start to gear up for the holiday shopping season, IBM is offering an early glimpse of some of the hot online buying trends from over the past three months, a few of which may might surprise you.

  • Consumers Will Shop This Holiday: Online sales in the third quarter increased by 3.1 percent over the second quarter providing a strong indication that consumers are preparing to spend.
  • The Ad is Back: Positive sentiment around ads grew to 21.3 percent, more than twice the amount of negative sentiment, which demonstrates that the power and influence of the advertisement remains strong.
  • Online Coupons: Consumers voiced growing enthusiasm around the advantages of online coupons which helped grow positive sentiment around the online experience to 24.3 percent, more than double the negative sentiment.

The IBM Retail Online Index integrates factual marketplace data from the IBM Data Analytics Benchmark with insights from the IBM Social Sentiment Index. The combination of these two provides the most accurate and immediate snap shot on the state of the online retail market. Some additional findings from IBM’s Retail Online Index for the third quarter include:

  • Home Goods: Online sales of home goods grew by 8.9 percent.
  • Department Stores: Online sales for department stores grew by 3.9 percent.
  • Multi-Channel Experience: Departments stores demonstrated the importance of a strong on and offline presence, with positive sentiment around the in-store experience reaching 22.8 percent and online topping out at 24.3 percent, both more than double the negative sentiment.
  • Convenience: Whether in-store or online convenience was critical. According the Index positive sentiment around convenience reached an astounding 67.3 percent, more than six times the negative sentiment which came in at 10.3 percent.
  • Overall Consumer Sentiment is High: Positive consumer sentiment toward department stores was 35.4 percent, three times that of negative sentiment which came in at 11 percent.

These are just a few highlights from the IBM Online Retail Index, but all signs point to a strong holiday season. IBM’s Global Retail Leader Jill Puleri (pictured) breaks down the findings on IBM’s “Building A Smarter Planet” blog.
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