With the economy improving, online holiday shopping has seen a dramatic increase in year over year sales. Online holiday spending increased 12% in 2010 according to digital business analytics firm comScore. This year’s total online holiday spending is expected to top out at $35 billion a significant increase over last year’s total of $29.1 billion.
The numbers have been increasing steadily since the start of the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving Day when a 28% year-over-year increase was reported representing $407 million in online sales. On December 17, “free shipping day”, consumers spent 61% more than they did in 2009.
During the final holiday shopping weekend of December 17 and 18, online shopping sales were approximately $900 million during the two day period, for a 17% increase over the corresponding weekend in 2009. The final shopping week of the year, ending December 19, broke records with consumer spending $5.5 billion, a 14% increase over last year’s final shopping week.
“Online retail spending has increased due to the improving economic environment and a long-term shift in consumer behavior toward the online channel,” said Andrew Lipsman, senior director of industry analysis at comScore, through e-mail. “Consumers appreciate the convenience, the ability to find the best prices and the ability to take advantage of discounts when online shopping. I think the especially high growth rates on Thanksgiving and ‘free shipping day’ can be attributed to heavy promotional efforts around those days that we have not seen in years past.”