Online Holiday Spending Hits Record $913 Million

    December 21, 2009

Online holiday shoppers have spent a total of $24.8 billion so far this season, representing a 4 percent increase over last year, according to the latest report from comScore.

The most recent week got off to a slightly sluggish start, with sales of $854 million on Green Monday (Dec.14) down 1 percent compared to a year ago, but was followed by three strong spending days that each surpassed $800 million. Tuesday, December 15 was a record spending day reaching $913 million, the first such day to surpass the $900 million mark.


"Going into this most recent week, we had anticipated that Monday or Tuesday would post the highest online spending total of the season and perhaps be the first day on record to surpass $900 million," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "Despite a disappointing start to the week, with sales on Monday of $854 million down 1 percent versus 2008, we were encouraged to see spending continue strongly throughout the balance of the work week, led by Tuesday’s record $913 million."

"In fact, each day through Thursday December 17 – the last day that many online retailers would guarantee free shipping in time for Christmas – saw at least $800 million in spending, which suggests that savvy consumers may have been waiting for those last-minute deals."

The second heaviest spending day was Cyber Monday (Nov.30) with $887 million, the highest it has ever ranked, followed by Tuesday, December 1, with $866 million in spending.

"In a typical year, Cyber Monday tends to be the eighth to tenth heaviest spending day, but this year it moved higher up the list than ever before," added. Mr. Fulgoni.

"In part, this is due to the fact that the day fell fairly late in the season, so that pent up consumer demand likely boosted its performance, but also because of the increasing marketing hoopla and promotional activity that surround the day."

Free shipping has remained a key driver of online shopping throughout the holiday season. During each week, at least 45 percent of all transactions included free shipping. The peak occurred during the week ending December 6, with 50 percent of all transactions including free shipping.

The average order value for online transactions peaked at $117 during the week ending November 29, and the week ending December 6, outpacing the corresponding weeks in 2008. For the week ending November 29, the average order value for transactions including free shipping was $124 while the average order for those without free shipping was $111. For the week ending December 6, the average order value for transactions including free shipping was $134 while the average order for those without free shipping was a much lower $103.

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