Online Holiday Spending Up 7 Percent

    December 10, 2008

Online holiday spending continues to be the one bright spot in the woeful economy, according to a new report from comScore.

For the holiday season through December 7, $15.63 billion has been spent online, about the same level compared to the same period last year. During the first week since Cyber Monday (December 1-December 7), sales totaled $4.45 billion, up 7 percent over a year ago.

"Cyber Monday kicked off a week of modest growth in online spending, and, hopefully, reflects what will occur over the final weeks leading up to Christmas," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

Online Holiday Spending Up 7 Percent

"The compressed shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year means that there is now a greater sense of urgency in order to get all of one’s shopping completed in time. With many consumers likely to rely on the convenience of online shopping in these final weeks, I hope to see this positive momentum continue as we count down the days to Christmas."

An analysis of referral activity found that 33.4 percent of all online sales in 2008 were driven by referral activity, a slight increase from 32.8 percent in 2007. Referral activity usually reflects retailer’s marketing efforts which provide consumers with relevant information on prices and discounts.

Search remains the top referral activity, accounting for 55 percent of referred dollars sales during the season-to-date, but it is down slightly from 57 percent last year.

Email made up 16 percent of referred dollars, up 5 percent from last year, due to retailer’s heavier use of email marketing programs this season. Comparison shopping sites also played a larger role up from 2.5 percent last year to 4.7 percent this year.