Online Holiday Spending to Date 12% Increase

Reston, VA–While “Free Shipping Day” (Dec. 17) showed at 61% increase over last year as more than 1,500 merchants offered free shipping, online sales probably peaked  Cyber Monday  when sales exceed $1 billion for the first time in history.

According to a report from comScore released Sunday, online sales for the first 47 days from November to December have reached $27.46 billion, 12% more than last year.

Online Sales Surge Last Week

The most recent week (week ending Dec.17) reached $5.15 billion in spending, an increase of 14% versus the corresponding week last year, reported comScore, a leader in measuring the digital world.  Last week alone, four individual days surpassed $900 million, led by Green Monday (Monday, Dec. 13) with $954 million and Free Shipping Day (Friday, Dec. 17) with $942 million.

“Free Shipping Day punctuated an exceptional week in which consumers spent more than $5.5 billion online, representing a 14% increase from last year,” said Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman. “While no individual days during the week surpassed $1 billion in spending, we saw strength throughout the week beginning with Green Monday and ending with Free Shipping Day on Friday. At this late juncture in the online holiday season, we have likely already witnessed the peak spending day of the year, which means that Cyber Monday should emerge as the season’s heaviest online spending day for the first time in history.”

Free Shipping Remains Strong during Final Online Push

“Free shipping has certainly become one of the prevalent themes of the 2010 holiday season,” added Fulgoni. “Since the week before Thanksgiving, we’ve seen the majority of online retail transactions use free shipping, which confirms the appeal of the offer for consumers.

comScore’s analysis of e-commerce transactions including free shipping indicated that consumers took advantage of the offer later into the season this year, in part due to the appeal of Free Shipping Day on Friday, Dec. 17. Each of the past five weeks has seen free shipping on at least half of transactions. Last year that that threshold was reached only once.

For the five-day week ending with Free Shipping Day, the percentage of transactions with free shipping reached 52.7%, 12% points higher than the corresponding time period last year, the most sizeable gap observed this season.

Moreover, Fulgoni said Free Shipping Day helped drive a late-season response as more free shipping transactions accelerated this year while last year they declined.

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