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Online Holiday Spending Hits $15.3 Billion

Online holiday spending up 4%

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Online holiday spending has reached $15.3 billion, a 4 percent increase over the previous year, according to the latest report from comScore.

The most recent week saw three individual days surpass $800 million in spending, led by Cyber Monday with $887 million in spending, matching the heaviest online spending day on record. The following Tuesday nearly matched the Cyber Monday total with $886 million in spending, while Thursday, December 3 reached $808 million in spending.

Holiday-Spending

"Cyber Monday, which kicked off the most recent work week matching an all-time spending record with $887 million in spending, was followed by several other strong online spending days helping to accelerate the growth rate for the season-to-date to 4 percent," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

"Two categories that have been contributing strongly to this growth are consumer electronics and computer hardware, both achieving growth rates well into the double-digits so far, with e-readers, GPS devices, digital cameras, flat-panel TVs and laptops among the most popular sellers. We have now passed the halfway point of the season with the 4 percent growth in online spending to date slightly exceeding comScore’s forecast of an overall 3 percent growth rate for the entire season. It will be interesting to see if the encouraging growth continues as we head into the busiest days of the season. Nonetheless, I do expect that we will see the industry’s first $900 million online spending day during this next critical week of the season."

An analysis of the top 25 online retailers found a sales growth rate of 13 percent through November, while smaller retailers experienced a year-over- year decline of 10 percent. The larger retailers grabbed 64 percent of all dollars spent during the period, a 6 percent increase from last year.

"It’s pretty clear that the larger, established retailers have an overall competitive advantage during a recession," added Mr. Fulgoni. "Not only are they better equipped to meet the price demands of cash-strapped consumers, but they are also able to maintain their marketing investments and gain consumer mindshare.

"Both Amazon and Walmart come to mind as online retailers that appear to be benefitting from this dynamic during this holiday season. To be clear, I’m not saying that all smaller retailers are struggling, but, taken as whole, the smaller retailer segment is clearly underperforming this season."

Free shipping has become increasingly important during the 2009 holiday season. During the week ending November 22, transactions that include free shipping accounted for 50 percent of all online sales, an 11 percent increase over last year.

Importantly, the average order value for orders including free shipping has been 15 percent higher than those without free shipping, which indicates that retailers have been successful in using minimum spending thresholds for free shipping to persuade consumers to spend more per order.
 

 

Related Articles:

>Cyber Monday Deals Attract Online Shoppers

>Walmart Wins Thanksgiving, Amazon Wins Black Friday

>Online Retailers See Strong Cyber Monday Sales

Online Holiday Spending Hits $15.3 Billion
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