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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Online Spending Sets Records



U.S. consumers spent an estimated $36.4 billion on e-Commerce, a 15.4 percent increase over the 2009 holiday season, according to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse. However, jewelry, while making year-over-year gains, lagged behind other merchandise categories.

“Today eCommerce accounts for a much larger share of overall retail sales compared to a few years ago. And during this holiday season, it registered double digit growth for 6 out of 7 weeks,” said Michael McNamara, vice president, for the Purchase, N.Y.-based research arm of MasterCard, which measures sales activity in the MasterCard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for all other payments.

Apparel sales was the clear leader, accounting for 18.8 percent of total ecommerce sales, compared to 16.9 percent in 2009.

“Online electronics, not surprisingly, also recorded significant gains, while Jewelry, although still in positive territory, lagged behind, McNamara added.

Six days in the 2010 season surpassed $1 billion in sales compared with 3 days in 2009. The top day was November 30, which registered $1.16 billion in sales, followed by Dec. 1, which had $1.13 billion. The Monday after Thanksgiving, known as CyberMonday, a promotion of online retailers, generated $999.3 million in sales, a 25.3 percent increase, year-over-year.

Meanwhile, comScore, which measures consumer online spending, reports that consumers spent $28.36 billion online for the first 49 days of the November – December 2010 holiday season—a 12 percent increase, year-over-year. The most recent week reached $5.5 billion in spending, an increase of 14 percent versus the corresponding week last year. The final shopping weekend before Christmas reached $900 million in retail e-commerce spending, representing a strong 17-percent growth rate versus last year.

Spending growth has remained strong right through the final shopping weekend of the holiday season,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of the Reston, Va.-based research company. “The growth rate of 17 percent witnessed during the final weekend capped off the heaviest online spending week of all time at $5.5 billion.”

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