Online retail sales reached $1.22 billion for the week ended Dec. 26, a rise of 53% from $795 million in the comparable week last year, as in-store pickup, electronic gift cards and other features convinced consumers to shop online later in the holiday season, comScore Networks Inc. reports.
Thanks to the surge in the final holiday shopping week, online sales for the entire holiday shopping season (Nov. 1 – Dec. 26) reached $14.8 billion, up 29% from $11.5 billion in the same period last year, comScore says.
Year-to-date through Dec. 26, online retail sales totaled $65.5 billion, up 26% from $52 billion a year ago.
ComScore said several factors supported the late-season boost in online shopping:
-- In-store pickup and delivery from local warehouses;
-- Later shipping deadlines, such as free 2-day shipping from Dell Inc. for orders placed as late as Monday, Dec. 20;
-- The ability to get gift cards instantly from web sites;
-- A shortage of products available offline, including Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod digital music player;
-- An increase in purchases of flower-and-gift baskets that retailers could deliver on a same-day or next-day basis.