Online spending rises again

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Especially in consumer electronics
 

Online spending was up by a tad this holiday season. Customers spend around $27 billion between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, up five percent on last year.

The ComScore figures indicate a return to the norm.

"Following last year's disappointing performance when sales fell by three percent, the e-commerce sector saw a positive 2009 holiday shopping season with sales up by five percent," said ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

He said that while there was a continued increase in the number of people buying online, consumers' economic woes resulted in a slight decline on last year in the amount spent per buyer.

"The season featured a strong start as a result of early retailer promotions and a very strong finish helped by the snow storms that occurred the weekend of Dec 19 - 20, retailers' willingness to offer free shipping later in the season, and consumers' confidence in expedited shipping arriving in time," said Fulgoni.

"This was also a year when retailers substantially boosted their use of social network marketing and the larger retailers significantly outperformed their smaller brethren. In these tough economic times, the retailers with sufficient financial resources and a willingness to invest in aggressive marketing and free shipping offers were clear winners."

In terms of individual product categories, consumer electronics showed particularly strong sales growth of slightly over 20 percent, he said, and jewelry and watches also turned in a strong performance.