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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 08, 2010

Spending Wrap-Up: Consumers spending but may not be happy

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean the end of the annual holiday shopping rush. The 2010 season may be the busiest ever for etailers, if early numbers are indicators of how the rest of the season will play out.

by Kristina Knight

comScore researchers found that online shoppers spent just over $1 billion on Cyber Monday, making it the most-shopped day on record. That is a 16% increase over Cyber Monday 2009.

"While online shopping from work originally occurred to take advantage of broadband speeds that people lacked at home, it was widely believed that this would decline markedly as home broadband connectivity increased," said Gian Fulgoni, comScore Chairman. "The fact that spending from work remains so prevalent suggests other explanations. It is more likely that consumers continue to shop from work primarily because by doing so they are able to shop for holiday gifts while minimizing the risk that their children, spouses and significant others might see what Santa will bring." is reporting that sales on Restock Tuesday increased (YoY) by 22% and that direct to consumer sales increased by 85% on both Cyber Monday and Restock Tuesday.

"These results indicate that consumer confidence is higher in this shopping season that in 2009, and that buyers are looking to get more value out of their purchases, especially with big ticket, consumer electronics items like the iPod Touch or HDTVs," said Cayce Roy, Executive Vice President of Liquidity Services, Inc. "Our expectation is that buyers will continue to seek out value and look for these discounts through the end of December."

Still, the 2010 holiday shopping season may not be the bonanza that etailers were hoping for. Since the Cyber Monday shopping-palooza, comScore reports that spending has been soft. From November 1 through December 3, researchers point out that online spending increased only about 12% year over year (YoY), with Thanksgiving Day showing a 25% increase (YoY) and Black Friday showing only a 9% (YoY) increase in spending.

What is the problem? Tealeaf suggests that online shoppers are frustrated this year. According to their Social Media Buzz report, about 25% of shoppers are not satisfied with their online experiences, with many reporting an inability to complete purchases.

Tealeaf is a leader in customer experience; they have been following social media conversations about online shopping experiences this holiday season and note that while more than one-third (38%) of shoppers were happy with their purchases and experiences, 24% were unhappy and/or were hassled with the online buying process.

"The holiday sales volumes underscore consumers' growing appetite for online shopping. However, scratching a bit beneath the surface reveals substantial consumer frustration and missed opportunities for retailers," said Geoff Galat, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing for Tealeaf. "Whether it's the biggest shopping day of the year or a random Tuesday in August, online customer struggles exist and thanks to social media these experiences become amplified. With website errors, faulty coupon codes and other common customer struggles that would otherwise fly below the radar, retailers are unwittingly driving customers away resulting in more than $44 billion in lost revenue over the course of a year."

Tags: 2010 holiday shopping, comScore, ecommerce,, online shopping, Tealeaf

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