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Online Holiday Shopping Doesnt Disappoint

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The numbers are in from a variety of metrics firms and it would appear that it was indeed a happy holiday season for online retailers. Online spending increased by 25% over last year as shoppers used their fingers rather than their elbows to secure clothing, electronics, and even a $94,000 pair of diamond earrings.

Online Holiday Shopping Doesn't Disappoint
Holiday Online Shopping Pays Big Dividends

Those as expensive-as-a-house earrings were the pride and joy of Amazon.com’s holiday season, a glitzy addition to the other 108 million items sold on the site between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25.

Amazon’s sale of the earrings is also indicative of the fastest growing online retail category, retail jewelry and luxury goods, which showed 39% growth, according to comScore Media Metrix. These goods drew over 16.4 million visitors this season.

“Consumers are investing an increasing amount of trust and discretionary dollars in the Web, as evidenced by the growth of sites where big ticket items are sold,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix.

While big ticket items are in the fastest growing online retail category, nothing beat clothing/apparel ($4.7 billion or 17% of total revenue), signifying that moms still would rather you wrap yourself in fleece than sit too close to the TV. Computer hardware and consumer electronics, however, were close behind the online clothing market, generating $3.7 billion each, according to a report release by Goldman, Sachs & Co., Nielsen/NetRatings, and Harris Interactive.

According to the same report, the majority of the $25 billion spent online during the holiday season was spent by the week before Christmas. Over half (54%) of online shoppers had completed their shopping by the week before.

“In recent years, consumers shop online later and later in the holiday season making the week prior to the holidays the peak in online holiday shopping, with over half of shoppers completing all of their purchases,” said Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings.

“With guaranteed delivery by December 24th and additional discounts and incentives, online retailers continue to court shoppers until late in the season, looking to capture sales before shoppers turn to stores on Friday and Saturday for last minute purchases,” she continued.

Amazon.com’s busiest day was Monday, December 12, when over 3.6 million items were sold at the rate of 41 items per second.

Offline factors are also thought to push people online, like gasoline prices, road traffic, and crowds. Unforeseen factors can affect online traffic as well, like the New York City transit strike. According to comScore, during the first two days of the strike, online spending from the New York City are jumped 28%.

Online Holiday Shopping Doesnt Disappoint
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