This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

December 16, 1998

I don't have time for holiday shopping!

Have you found yourself time-challenged in the midst of this frenzied season of the year? You're certainly not alone! The level of activity at work has been increasing for most employees; there just isn't enough time to get it all done anymore. And with the labor market being so tight, hiring extra help seems next to impossible.

It's hard enough to get work done, spend time with the family, shop for essentials like food, and steal few minutes for some personal quiet time. And now the big shopping season is here! What's the solution?

Shopping on-line is increasing in popularity. We predict this trend will continue, with the pace accelerating as we become even more time-challenged.

Recently-released research reveals some interesting information. Everyone seems to agree that holiday shopping on-line was strong and would intensify during this year's season. Volume estimates vary. Jupiter's forecast predicted sales of US$2.3 billion, while eMarketer put their figure at $1.1 billion.

Other surveys showed more agreement. Visa International found 46% of those with Internet access would shop on-line this holiday season. Dell's survey came up with almost the same numberý43 percent.

E-commerce consultant Wally Bock anticipates that 1998 holiday shopping will be 3-4 times the 1997 figure. Why? The two biggest reasons are 1) convenience and 2) avoiding unpleasant shopping experiences. All the surveys of on-line shoppers put those two at the top of the listýfar above "great price."

If you're selling on-line this holiday season, promote the convenience and ease factors. Stress shopping at any time of the day or night, in your pajamas, or whatever. And don't forget the "away-from" motivators. Tell folks about avoiding shopping mall congestion, parking and traffic hassles, dumb and dumber retail salespeople.

If you haven't shopped online before, this might be a good time to try it. Start with a small purchase of a product that would be hard to find in your neighborhood. A special hot sauce from Hot! Hot! Hot! If you like hot sauce. A hard-to-find book from for book lovers.

Is your shopping life changing? Imagine what next year will bring!

Our thanks to Wally Bock,

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