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Multi-channel Retailers Upbeat, Plan Early for Holidays

Multi-channel retailers are beginning their holiday marketing earlier this year, and one in five expects growth of 75 percent or more in sales over last year.

Nearly four in ten multichannel retailers - 38.5 percent - plan to start marketing for the holidays earlier than last year, with 62 percent planning to begin by Nov. 4, according to BizRate's 2006 eHoliday Mood Survey, conducted for Shopzilla and Shop.org, writes DM News (via MediaBuyerPlanner). The move is in response to consumer preferences, with one in five online shoppers planning to shop for holiday gifts earlier this year. A full 34.9 percent will begin their shopping by Halloween.

Free shipping, with or without conditions, was the most common promotion last year. This year, 83 percent of retailers will be offering the promotion, compared with 64 percent two years ago.

And 41 percent of retailers plan to use blogs or RSS feeds during holiday sales, and 81 percent said they intend to use viral marketing.

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