Shoppers expected to take to the web this holiday season

Crowded shopping malls, long lines, and screaming children may quickly be becoming a thing of the past due to the poor economy. This holiday shopping season, consumers are expected to take to the web in masses in hopes of receiving better deals, free shipping and other freebies they normally wouldn't receive in an actual store.

"Given the current economic environment, it is no surprise that consumers are reigning in their spending and seeking bargains," says Lynn Franco, Director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "Free shipping, exclusive online deals, coupons and discounts are among the incentives consumers will be expecting this season."

Expecting an online shopper increase of over nine percent compared to last year's numbers, most retailers are preparing special online deals and sales to entice consumers to spend money at their website over another. One online retailer though, Sportsfanshop.com who specializes in sporting team memorabilia, isn't going to be offering any extra deals and are hoping their customer base will simply overlook the bad economy and stick with them.

The marketing representative, who requested to remain anonymous, states "We will probably offer a few specials, but nothing out of the ordinary. Since our products are geared towards sports fans, I feel our base is solid. I think that some fans actually turn to their favorite teams when times are tough as a way to get away from the negativity that the news brings. Fans will never lose their allegiance, so there will always be a market for the products we offer."

Loyalty to teams may not be able to save this particular online retailer this season. With consumers more knowledgeable now about locating deals online and the dollar not going nearly as far as it once did, shoppers may simply purchase based on price instead of store name.

We want to hear from you, how do you plan on doing your holiday shopping this year? Will you shop at online retailers due to the deals they offer, or will you stick with sites you've previously shopped from simply out of loyalty and trust?

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