Online Holiday Spending Up 9 Percent

    December 8, 2008

Online holiday spending has now reached the same levels as last year thanks to Cyber Monday and the corresponding Tuesday, according to comScore.

For the holiday season through December 5, $14.92 billion has been spent online, about the same amount compared to the same period last year.

For the five days beginning with December 1 (Cyber Monday) online sales totaled $3.74 billion, up 9 percent compared to a year ago. Two individual days in the past week reached more than $800 million in online spending: Cyber Monday with $846 million, and Tuesday, December 2 with $823 million.

"The online holiday shopping season has picked up noticeably since Thanksgiving as consumers have given in to the holiday spirit – and very attractive retailer discounts," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

"Particularly encouraging is the growth of 9 percent in online sales that has occurred since Cyber Monday. While this growth is certainly a positive development in this tough retail season, it also needs to be put into perspective. With the compressed time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year – five days shorter than last year – we need to see continued strong growth during the critical weeks between today and Christmas if this year’s shopping season is to at least match that of last year."

Online Holiday Spending Up 9 Percent

The fastest growing product categories from December 1 through December 5 were sports & fitness (up 35%) and consumer electronics (up24%), which saw sales spike due to major price reductions on many items, including flat screen TVs.

Apparel & accessories saw a 16 percent increase along with toys (16%) and books & magazines were up 10 percent followed by video games, consoles & accessories up 9 percent.

The most popular retail sites included eBay with 36 million unique visitors followed by Amazon with 29 million, Wal-Mart with 19 million, Target 15 million and Apple with 11 million, a 29 percent increase over last year.