December 8, 2006, 12:00 AM

Holiday sales showing big gains for online retailers

Online sales are rising at a brisk pace for many online retailers so far this holiday shopping season, with one-fourth of e-retailers reporting sales up 50% year-to-year while half say sales are up 25% or more, BizRate reports in a study for Shop.org.

Online sales are rising at a brisk pace for many online retailers so far this holiday shopping season, with one-fourth of e-retailers reporting sales up 50% over last year while half say sales are up 25% or more, BizRate reports in a study conducted for Shop.org.

Moreover, compared to last year, 68% of online retailers say average order value has increased over last year and 85% say site traffic is also up.

Several retailers in different categories and size groups contacted by Internet Retailer also report strong gains in holiday sales. “November sales were up 43% and December is on track to do that too,” says Dale Petruzzi, president of Batteries.com, No. 404 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide to Retail Web Sites.

Ritz Interactive, which operates several camera products sites and is No. 102 in the Top 500 Guide, “early holiday sales” are up more than 40% over last year, due largely to strong demand for digital cameras and customer response to a promotion in Google Checkout that offers $20 offer on purchase of $50 or more, Ritz says.

Sales at MusicNotes.com, a retailer of downloadable sheet music and No. 487 in the Top 500 Guide, rose 44% year-to-year during the first two weeks following Thanksgiving, as it averaged nearly 3,400 downloads per day and added more than 12,000 new customers, the retailer says.

At Auntie’s Beads, No. 462 in the Top 500 Guide, “our holiday sales are strong and we are about to expand our facilities to meet demand,” says CEO Ron Henderson. Although he declines to give a percentage increase in sales, he notes that membership in the retailer’s Beader’s Advantage loyalty club has been rising 15-20% per month.

Online sales at K&L; Wines, which sells on the web at KLWines.com, rose 37% year-over-year during the first week of December, after November sales rose 19.2%. For the full year, K&L; is projecting a 35% year-over-year increase in online sales, compared to 22% for its overall sales, says vice president Brian Zucker.

Sales at LetsTalk.com, a retailer of cell phones and related products and services, increased 145% year-over-year on Thanksgiving Day, then rose 137% year-over-year on the following Monday, CEO Delly Tamer says. “It looks like people were sneaking out from turkey dinner to go online and buy,” he says.

OrderMotion, a provider of an on-demand, multi-channel retail platform, says that the number of November transactions at retailers in its index rose 25% over November 2005, as sales rose 118%. The number of online purchases recorded by the index on the day after Thanksgiving rose 29% year-over-year, but the number of transactions on the following Monday fell 8%.

OrderMotion also reports the following year-over-year increases in number of online transactions recorded by the index according to volume of annual revenue:
-- up to $500,000: 12%;
-- up to $2 million: 31%;
-- up to $5 million: 16%;
-- over $5 million: 27%.

Shopping.com, a major online comparison shopping site, says traffic to its merchant partners’ sites rose 40% on the Monday after Thanksgiving, adding that the most clicked-on product was Apple Computer Inc.’s black 4GB iPod nano.

 

 

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