January 11, 2011, 3:08 PM

Holiday sales increase 18% for MarketLive clients

Consumers shopped online during the week but visited stores on weekends.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Holiday sales for online merchants increased 18%, according to figures released today by e-commerce technology provider MarketLive Inc. The same-seller increases reported by the vendor are higher than recent holiday season spending figures last week from comScore, which reported a 12% gain for e-retail as a whole, and in line with data from MasterCard, which said e-commerce sales increased 17.6% in December.

“We expect this strong momentum to continue into the new year,” says Mark Pierce, MarketLive CEO.

Site traffic during the holiday season for MarketLive retailer clients increased 21% during the holiday season compared with the same shopping period in 2009. Average order value increased 3%. Nine of the 10 largest online shopping days for MarketLive clients fell between Sunday and Wednesday; the tenth was Black Friday, the first day after Thanksgiving. The pattern of heavy shopping days suggests that consumers shopped online during the early part of the week and then went to bricks-and-mortar stores on the weekend, the vendor says.

Cuddledown, a manufacturer and multichannel retailer of luxury bedding, down products, sleepwear that is a MarketLive client, said its sales increased 53% in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales between Black Friday and the following Monday, often called Cyber Monday, increased 121% compared with a year ago. Site visits in the fourth quarter of 2010 increased 42% compared with a year ago, with conversions up 3%.

Cuddledown credited a variety of factors for the gains: Feeding product data to comparison-shopping sites; social marketing efforts; offering product ratings and reviews; and aggressive e-mail marketing and search engine optimization efforts. Discounts helped boost sales in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the retailer adds.

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