Online retail holiday sales hit $15.6 billion, and were up 25 percent over corresponding days in 2005, according to a report by comScore Networks.
The survey measured consumer retail spending at U.S. websites for the 2006 holiday season from Nov. 1 through Dec. 8. Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore, Reston, VA, said it's not only the big retailers who saw these increases, pointing to the fact that firms with brick and mortar stores took seven of the top 10 spots.
"In particular, we saw a very aggressive online marketing effort from the brick and mortar retailers that were well integrated and coordinated with their stores, and which allowed them to increase sales at a faster rate than we saw for pureplays," Fulgoni said.
The executive said that he expects sales growth to continue into 2007. He and his research company were certainly not alone in reporting good cheer in the holidays' aftermath.
According to the National Retail Federation, Washington, DC, overall industry sales for the season rose about 6.3 percent, unadjusted over last year, and 0.9 percent seasonally adjusted from October. And November alone saw figures, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, that show total retail sales rose 1.0 percent seasonally, adjusted from October, and 6 percent unadjusted year over year.
Not surprisingly, the uplift in sales was led by deep discounts on popular holiday categories such as electronics and apparel. It is good news for anyone doing business, whether offline, eRetail, eWholesale or a mix.
"The increase in online traffic highlights the continued popularity of shoppers turning to the Internet for holiday gift giving needs, including researching before going to stores and/or purchasing online," said Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst at Nielsen//NetRatings in New York.
Carts Filled Mondays
In online traffic and shopping statistics tracked from November 27 through December 24, according to data from performance marketing and online technology company, Think Partnership, more shopping carts were created online on Mondays than any other day of the week. In the same way, the majority of online purchases was made on a Monday or Tuesday, and the shopping cart abandonment rate was lowest on Mondays and Tuesdays.
"It is interesting to note that the days when the most online shopping carts were created had lower cart abandonment rates, meaning that consumers did more than just window shop online this holiday season," said Chad Herman, director of Second Bite business development at Think Partnership, which headquarters in Clearwater, FL.
Think Partnership found that the average number of items per cart and average cart value was higher between November 27 and December 18 than any other period of the year. The highest cart abandonment rate was the week of December 4, while the most carts were created the week of December 11.
Companies included in this article:
11465 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 200
Reston, VA 20190
National Retail Federation
325 7th Street, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20004
120 West 45th St., 35th Fl.
New York, NY 10036
Think Partnership Inc.
28050 US 19, N. Suite 509
Clearwater, FL 33761
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