Consumers will spend 15 hours shopping online this Christmas – the same as they do in stores, according to an independent study by Coremetrics, the leading provider of digital marketing optimisation solutions.

The study showed that three quarters of the British public will spend up to 15 hours looking for gifts online. Further demographic analysis revealed that the 35-44 age range is more likely to shop online, while 25-34 year-olds are more likely to brave the High Street.

In response to the findings of the independent study, Jeff Schmidt, the VP of Worldwide Sales for Coremetrics, remarked: “People are beginning to feel more comfortable with the idea of shopping online. This could be the tipping point where shopping online has become as acceptable as shopping on the high street.”

He added: “This shift in consumer behaviour reflects the fact that companies with an online presence are putting more focus on improving the customer experience by opitmising their online marketing and merchandising efforts.”

In addition, Coremetrics has released figures from its own LIVEmark database of participating brands to reveal that there is also a dramatic increase in online sales since the same period last year.

Christmas shopping online traditionally begins in October when the first wave of Christmas advertisements and promotions appear. According to the LIVEmark data October 2007 saw a 28 per cent increase in online sales compared with last year – with the average order reaching the £91 mark, an increase of 11 per cent. Overall the 2007 festive shopping season has been much more successful than 2006, with a 24 per cent increase in online sales throughout October and November and a 6 per cent increase in average order value.

Schmidt added: “While consumers purchased fewer items per order in October 2007 versus 2006, these items had a greater value, with the average order value increasing by 11 per cent to nearly £91 in October 2007. It might be because consumers are making their larger important purchases earlier to avoid possible disappointments that could be caused around stock or shipping issues.”

However, Schmidt argues that e-tailers cannot afford to rest on their laurels. According to the independent survey 60 per cent of people admitted they were put off online shopping by expensive postage and packaging, and 43 per cent were worried about internet fraud.

“This marks an interesting period in the development of eCommerce and the online store. If companies want to build a successful brand online they need to reassure customers the transaction process is secure and that it is safe to make payments online. This level of trust can be achieved making sure you have the certification of a third party like VeriSign and provide consumers with links to security and privacy information. Companies can also decide to waive or reduce shipping costs as a way to acquire new customers online”, said Schmidt.

About Coremetrics
Coremetrics is the leading provider of online marketing optimisation solutions. Its solutions generate high return on online marketing investment and continue to pay daily dividends in improved marketing performance. Over 1,000 online business sites, transacting over $15 billion this year, are now using Coremetrics’ Software as a Service (SaaS) solution to optimize online marketing efforts.

Coremetrics’ solutions encompass advanced online analytics and precision marketing applications, including search engine bid management, email marketing and cross sell applications to acquire customers more cost effectively, increase conversion rates, and increase lifetime customer value. Clients have recognized over $300M in documented ROI and 87% of clients recognize ROI in 12 weeks or less. The company is privately held with funding from Accel Partners, FTVentures, and Highland Capital Partners. Coremetrics Europe is headquartered is in Windsor, Berkshire and corporate headquarters is located in San Mateo, California. To learn more about Coremetrics, visit www.coremetrics.co.uk or call 01753 272 220.

Coremetrics has strongly supported online privacy since its inception. To learn more, visit www.coremetrics.com/privacy.

For further press information, contact Matt Humphries or Laura Gillen at OCTANE PR:
Email: coremetrics@octanepr.com
Telephone: 020 7802 2662

Published on: 12:00AM on 17th December 2007