Blame the apps, blame the mobs, blame the fact that by now people are sick of hearing the same twelve holiday tunes in every retailer in the world: online shopping is all the rage. Never has this been more apparent than now since, last week, shoppers in the United States kept their slippers on, plopped down on their sofas and went bonkers with the online gift-buying and set a new record for weekly sales, according to comScore.
Ever since Cyber Monday kicked off the blitzkrieg of online shopping this year by becoming the most lucrative shopping day ever, the amount of money spent by shoppers has consistently trumped every corresponding week from 2010. In this year and last, sales steadily increased leading up to the big Day of Unwrapping (i.e., Christmas Day) with the penultimate week seeing a huge gush of money from consumers. I'd suspect that the week before Christmas is a huge shopping day for online retailers because those present-buying procrastinators wanna make sure the gifts arrive in time. This year, however, has seen a pronounced increase in money being spent for each interval that comScore recorded.
Increases in online retail sales have been observed to increase with each passing year recently so the fact that people spent more money this year than 2010 isn't completely surprising. What makes this year so significant is just how crazy Americans went with their holiday shopping. It's like everybody wasn't quite content with merely spending some more money this year, so Americans decided that they didn't like too many figures in their bank accounts and spent a lot more money. $6.3 billion worth of a lot more!
I guess some people think this is good news, but that more money than ever is being spent online raises an interesting question: given the tax loophole associated with online sales, how much tax revenue was lost in last week's boom (and for the total $32 billion spent this holiday season, really). I'd like to see that analysis. I bet the different tiers of government want to see those stats, too. A loss of tax monies like that might not matter so much at a federal level, but that could have some heavy impact on struggling municipalities.
Anyways. So how's your holiday shopping going? Anybody out there contribute to last week's eruption of online shopping? Let us know with your comments below.