It’s the time of year we’ve all been waiting for: pumpkin pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and major bargains from our favorite retailers. What are retailers doing to bring in the crowds this holiday season? In addition to the traditional price-matching and deep discounts, brands are driving consumers to their home pages for a one-stop shop on all specials and promotions for the holidays. A recent survey conducted by Internet Retailer looked at home pages from 1000 retailers in the 2013 Top 500 and Second 500 guides from early November of this year. In the second installment of our holiday blog series, we’ll take a closer look at this year’s home page promotion strategies leading the retail industry. Price-Matching Guarantees. During the holidays, retailers will go to extreme lengths to beat the competition on price. While this trend isn’t as emphasized during the off season, retailers chase a competitive price advantage to win those precious holiday budget dollars. According to Internet Retailer’s survey, 37 of the Top 1000 are currently promoting their price-matching policies on their home pages. Banner ads and pop-up overlays are popular methods for this push with brands such as Best Buy and Staples. Free-Shipping. Free-shipping is like the tasty dollop of whipped cream on your pumpkin pie – the perfect addition to any etailer’s online shopping experience. More than 50% of the Top 1000 retailers spotlight free-shipping promotions on their home page. According to a eHoliday survey, 34.9% of retailers offer free-shipping year-round, and 16.3% of etailers started their shipping promotions the week of Halloween. Of the 623 retailers offering free-shipping, 255 enable it for all orders, while the rest require a minimum purchase amount. Deals, Discounts and Free Trials. Dollar savings and percentages-off promotions are present on 600 retailers’ home pages of the Top 1000, with an average discount of 39%. These average savings are major incentives for consumers looking to save on their online shopping efforts. Consumer entertainment brands like Netflix, Hulu and Gamefly use their home pages to promote free trials and trial subscriptions, as these services thrive off of monthly memberships and customer loyalty. At the end of the day, who can turn down almost 40% off? Gift buying is a delicate process that requires not only weeks of consideration but budget planning and deal hunting in advance. With strict constraints on spending this holiday season, shoppers are determined to stick to their budgets, unless they are otherwise enticed to go above and beyond. Deals and incentives encourage shoppers to spend just a little bit beyond their budgets. Special gifts with purchase or discounts can work wonders for the shopper that otherwise can’t quite decide if the latest Cuisinart stand mixer is worth the cost. How are you planning to approach home page promotions this holiday season? We’d love to hear from you!