E-commerce spending has recovered from the doldrums it inhabited in November, growing 9% year over year for the first five days in December after being down 4% for the first three weeks of November, comScore Inc., which tracks Internet activity, reports.
Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research
Online retail spending has recovered from the doldrums it inhabited in November, growing 9% year over year for the first five days in December after being down 4% for the first three weeks of November, reports comScore Inc., which tracks Internet activity.
A 15% increase on the Monday after Thanksgiving propelled the rest of the work week (Monday through Friday) to a 9% gain in sales over the same period a year ago, enough to place the holiday shopping season so far on a par with last year, comScore reports.
Online sales for Dec. 1 to 5 reached $3.74 billion from $3.42 a year earlier. On Monday, sales were up 15% over the Monday after Thanksgiving a year earlier-$846 million vs. $733 million. For the rest of the week, sales were $2.89 billion, up from $2.68 billion, 8%, compared to the same four days a year earlier.
With sales of $846 million, Monday, Dec. 1, was the second heaviest day in online shopping history, comScore reports. Tuesday experienced sales of $823 million.
For Nov. 1 to Dec. 5, sales totaled $14.92 billion, comparable to last year’s $14.90 billion.
“The online holiday shopping season has picked up noticeably since Thanksgiving as consumers have given in to the holiday spirit and very attractive retailer discounts,” says comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.
Fulgoni noted that sales growth the first week in December was particularly encouraging. “While this growth is certainly a positive development in this tough retail season, it needs to be put into perspective,” Fulgoni says. “With the compressed time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year-five days shorter than last year-we need to see continued strong growth during the critical weeks between today and Christmas if this year’s shopping season is to at least match that of last year.”
The fastest growing product categories from Dec. 1 to 5 were Sport & Fitness, up 35%, and Consumer Electronics, up 24%. With a 16% increase in online sales, Apparel & Accessories, the second largest retail category in terms of dollar sales, also experienced strong gains. ComScore reports the following growth in e-retail dollar sales for Dec. 1 to 5:
• Sport & Fitness, 35%
• Consumer Electronics, 24%
• Apparel & Accessories, 16%
• Toys, 16%
• Books & Magazines, 10%
• Video Games, Consoles & Accessories, 9%
• Computer Hardware, 2%
• Home, Garden & Furniture, 0%
• Flowers, Greetings & Gifts, -8%
• Jewelry & Watches, -22%
• Music, Movies & Videos, -24%
In the first five days of December, traffic to retail web sites was up 2% over a year ago. ComScore reports the following top retail sites with unique visitors in millions last year and this year and percent change:
• eBay, 40,180, 36,631; -9%
• Amazon Sites, 26,859; 29,505; 10%
• Wal-Mart, 18,183; 19,514; 7%
• Target, 16,273; 15,905; -2%
• Apple, 9,290; 11,943; 29%
• Best Buy, 9,350; 8,561; -8%
• J.C. Penney, 6,657; 6,435; -3%
• Overstock.com, 6,930; 5,874; -15%
• Toys R Us, 6,434; 5,969; -7%
• Dell, 6,740; 5,611; -17%
• Total retail sites, 118,393; 121,271; 2%
Individual e-commerce service providers also report that their customers are experiencing strong sales post-Thanksgiving. ChannelAdvisor Inc. reports that sales at client sites on the day after Thanksgiving reached $15 million, and on the Monday after Thanksgiving, $18 million. Both were records that far surpassed ChannelAdvisor’s previous record sales date of $11.6 million on Nov. 26, 2007, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in 2007.