Online Holiday Shopping Dominated So Far by Top Internet Retailers

Consumers have spent nearly $17 billion online to date this holiday season, a 12 percent increase over the same period last year, researcher comScore reports. Sales for top 25 online retailers up some 20 percent.

December 6, 2010
By

D.H. Kass

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Top online retailers such as Amazon.com, TigerDirect.com, newegg.com and others have dominated online holiday shopping so far, snagging some 68 percent of cyber spending for November into early December, according to new data offered by comScore Inc., a Reston, VA-based researcher tracking Internet buying behavior.

Cyber shoppers have plunked down nearly $17 billion online for the first 33 days of the November – December holiday season, a 12 percent bump from the $15 billion spent at the same time last year, comScore said.

As a group, the top 25 online retailers have generated 20 percent growth in sales so far this holiday season while cyber spending at small- and mid-size online retailers largely has been flat, a gap comScore tied to the bigger companies’ ability to compete more on price.

Indeed, since last year, small- and mid-sized online retailers’ share of the market has slipped more than four percentage points to about 32 percent, the researcher said.

Online sales on Thanksgiving Day this year totaled $407 million, shooting up 28 percent from figures recorded for the same day last year. Similarly, online shoppers on Cyber Monday rang up about $1 billion in sales, a 16 percent bump from last year’s $887 million posted on the same day, and the heaviest online sales day yet recorded, comScore said.

Last week, online shoppers spent more than $800 on four separate days, although the spending growth rate ebbed somewhat to 9 percent by the end of the first week in December, comScore said.

Of note, online sales total for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and, traditionally, the biggest overall shopping day of the year, was absent similar heft, as cyber shoppers spent about $648 million, for a tepid 9 percent increase over the same day last year.

“Cyber Monday kicked off the most recent work week with an all-time record of more than $1 billion in e-commerce spending, representing a strong 16-percent growth rate versus year ago,” said Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman.

“While we saw three more days during the week with at least $800 million in spending, growth rates slowed to single-digit levels following several weeks at about 13 percent,” he said.

“We believe this softening is attributable to retailers’ heavy discounting and promotional activity during the earlier part of the holiday season [through Cyber Monday], which pulled some consumer demand forward, resulting in a mild hangover effect in the days immediately following Cyber Monday,” Fulgoni said.

“We may see another week of this effect before late season discounts and buying by procrastinators gives the season a final spending surge,” he said.

TAGS: consumer,Internet,comScore,online,shopping



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