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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 04, 2012

Final tally: Holiday shoppers spend $37+ billion online

Once the billion dollar days began piling up - there were 10 individual shopping days which topped the $1 billion mark - there was no question the 2011 holidays season would be a good one for retailers. The question was how far the spending would go. Wonder no more: comScore reports the online holiday shopping spend hit a record $37.2 billion.

by Kristina Knight

That is a 15% increase over the 2010 holiday spend. Cyber Monday - for the second year in a row - came in as the most-shopped-day. Shoppers spent $1.251 billion online Cyber Monday (November 28). Other hot spending days included Green Monday (December 12, $1.13 billion), Free Shipping Day (December 16, $1.072 billion), December 5 ($1.178 billion) and November 29 ($1.116 billion).

Black Friday, comparatively, didn't hit the $1 billion mark, coming in at $816 million in spending.

"With brick-and-mortar holiday retail estimated to have grown about 4% this year, it's clear that e-commerce continues to gain market share from traditional retail due to the attractiveness of the Internet's convenience and lower prices," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "Consumers were especially attracted to the deals and discounts available through digital channels - particularly free shipping, which occurred on well over half of transactions this season. Despite their continuing price sensitivity, consumers felt a bit more comfortable opening up their wallets this year, although this appears to have occurred as a result of a decline in the savings rate. Nonetheless, it's clear that, at least on the basis of top line growth, this was a Merry Christmas for many online retailers. What will remain unknown until retailers report their financial year end results is whether the aggressive pricing and free shipping offers came at the cost of lower margins."

Total online and offline sales haven't been released as of now, but the National Retail Federation predicted overall holiday sales to surpass $469 billion, a 3.8% increase over 2010 spending.

Tags: 2011 holiday shopping, 2011 holiday spending, comScore, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, holiday sales, National Retail Federation, NRF

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