December 13, 2010, 9:37 AM

Online holiday sales growth holds steady at 12%

Online consumers have spent nearly $22 billion since Nov. 1, comScore says.

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Online consumers have spent $21.95 billion so far this holiday season, an 11.5% increase over the same period last year, according to comScore Inc.

The web measurement firm tallied online spending from Nov. 1 to Dec. 10. For the same period in 2009, online consumers spent $19.69 billion. For the week ending Dec. 10—Friday—online consumers spent $5.15 billion, up 11% from $4.64 billion for the same period last year.

Earlier shopping days also registered healthy increases in spending. Online consumers spent $407 million on Thanksgiving Day this year, up 28% from $318 million last year. Spending on Black Friday—the day after Thanksgiving—increased 9%, to $648 million from $595 million. Spending on Cyber Monday—the Monday after Thanksgiving—increased 16%, to $1.03 billion from $887 million last year, comScore says.

“Growth rates during the most recent week settled in at around 11%, which is consistent with our forecasted spending growth rate for the holiday season,” says comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “With more than $5 billion in spending this past week, it’s clear that while deal-seeking shoppers may have driven stronger than anticipated spending early in the season, Americans continue to demonstrate a significantly greater willingness to spend online this year than in seasons past.”

The research firm anticipates that this week will bring some of the highest online spending days of the holiday season, with comScore predicting that consumers will spend at least $1 billion online at least one day this week, and perhaps more. The first time online retail sales hit $1 billion for a single day was on Cyber Monday, with consumers spending $1.028 billion the Monday after Thanksgiving, comScore says.

“Several days in the upcoming week are candidates to the heaviest online spending day of the year,” Fulgoni says.  “It’s also apparent that as consumers become more confident in the reliability of expedited shipping that they are willing to buy online later in the season.”

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