Mother’s Day-related purchases accounted for $4.4 billion in online sales between April 25 and May 8, up 24% from the comparable period last year, according to VeriSign Inc.
The jewelry category showed a 79% increase, far outstripping flowers, candy and other traditional Mother’s Day categories. Spending in the diamond subcategory increased 101% and transaction activity skyrocketed 540%. The diamonds category had an average purchase price of $517, VeriSign said.
Online spending on candy was flat as compared with 2004. Chocolates accounted for 56% of the category, with spending up 35%, VeriSign said. Online spending for the flower category dropped 13%, with transaction activity unchanged.
“Mother’s Day has arrived as one of our larger retail holidays,” said Trevor Healy, vice president of payment services. “Where once this holiday would have been acknowledged with a phone call or heartfelt card, we’re increasingly seeing people using it as an opportunity to send expensive items, such as a necklace pendant.”
Overall transaction activity totaled 54.8 million, representing a 31% increase over the same period last year. Monday, May 2, was the peak online shopping day for the period, accounting for 5.43 million transactions and $473 million.
VeriSign based its analysis on online sales volume processed by VeriSign’s payment services, which comprises more than 37% of all North American e-commerce, and represents in excess of 135,000 online retailers.