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BizReport : Ecommerce : December 07, 2009


Holiday spend continues to be strong

With just under three weeks until the fat man slides down chimneys around the world, holiday shoppers continue hurrying to beat Santa to the punch. According to the latest numbers from metrics firm comScore the total holiday spend is up about 4% year over year, with shoppers spending just over $15.2 billion so far.

by Kristina Knight

The best sign for etailers? Three individual shopping days topped $800 million. Cyber Monday ($887 million), November 30 ($886 million) and December 3 ($808 million) all saw consumers spending more than historically normal. The better news: some expect to see an new all-time high shopping day topping $900 million before the season is finished.

"Two categories that have been contributing strongly to this growth are consumer electronics and computer hardware, both achieving growth rates well into the double-digits so far, with e-readers, GPS devices, digital cameras, flat-panel TVs and laptops among the most popular sellers," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "We have now passed the halfway point of the season with the 4 percent growth in online spending to date slightly exceeding comScore's forecast of an overall 3 percent growth rate for the entire season. It will be interesting to see if the encouraging growth continues as we head into the busiest days of the season. Nonetheless, I do expect that we will see the industry's first $900 million online spending day during this next critical week of the season."

Although spending has seen an increase, actual traffic to ecommerce hubs is down so far this season. According to Heather Dougherty ">overall traffic to the top retail sites decreased on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday by as much as 15% (year over year). The biggest traffic decreases were seen by brick-and-mortar retailers; those only in cyber space saw slightly smaller decreases in traffic.

However, traffic to some sites continues to increase, as seen by heavy hitters Amazon, WalMart and Target.

Why have these stores seen increases while other retail hubs have seen decreased traffic?

Possibly their marketing efforts leading up to the holiday season have been smarter but most likely it is the growing popularity of the hubs in general. Consumers looking to pinch pennies are likely to shop and compare prices at these larger hubs because of the 'know what they'll get' factor. With all three there is little left to the imagination: they'll offer low prices and several guaranteed in-stock items so consumers don't have to worry about specific gift items.






Tags: Amazon, comScore, ecommerce, ecommerce spending, ecommerce traffic, etailing, Hitwise, holiday spend, online shopping, Target, WalMart








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