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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 21, 2007

Online sales surge as delivery deadlines loom

Bricks and mortar stores may currently be working extra hard to attract shoppers in off the street, but online e-tailers saw a surge in online sales at the start of this week.

by Helen Leggatt

comScore expects online spending during the 2007 holiday period to reach $29.5 billion, a 20 percent increase on the 2006 holiday season. Figures point towards that estimate being achieved, if not exceeded. During the first 48 days of this year's holiday period – 1, November to 18, December – almost $25 billion was spent online, 19 percent up on the same period last year.

Monday and Tuesday this week saw a further surge in online shopping as consumers came up against delivery deadlines. That said, some websites are promising guaranteed "in time for Christmas" delivery for goods purchased as late as Sunday or for online purchases to be picked up from local stores.

Meanwhile, consumers appear to be leaving their offline holiday shopping until the last minute.

“While it is now safe to say that the heaviest online spending days of the season are behind us, we believe we may continue to see strong growth rates during the remainder of the season due to the late-season shipping deals being offered by some retailers, and consumers’ ability to buy online and pick-up their purchase the same day at the retail store,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.

“It’s also clear that many consumers are willing to delay their holiday shopping later in the season this year in an effort to take advantage of any late season price discounts being offered by retailers,” he added.

Tags: comScore, delivery, holidays, online shopping

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