It has been a happy holiday season indeed – especially for online shoppers, retailers, and the rest of the e-Commerce industry.
According to surveys by both MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse and marketing research firm comScore, online sales in the United States jumped by as much as 15 percent this 2010, with the figures reaching as high as $36.4 billion in the three-month period of October 31 to December 22. This marks a significant increase from last year’s $31.5 billion. Daily online sales, moreover, reached $1 billion on six days this 2010, compared to only three days last year.
SpendingPulse describes the surge as being spurred by aggressive online marketing by Web-based retailers. Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore, added: “After the past few years’ struggles, it is gratifying to see e-Commerce return to a state that can only be described as a very merry holiday shopping season.”
The 2010 online holiday sales were also helped by a late surge in spending, with about $2.45 billion in sales recorded in the week of December 26.
Among the biggest sellers were online apparel, the sales of which were up 26 percent, consumer electronics (21 percent), books and magazines (22 percent), and toys (16 percent). Even luxury items experienced a surge in online sales, with luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. recording a 7 percent increase in sales through online channels.
Said Michael McNamara, SpendingPulse vice president, “We also saw a noticeable return in spending in the larger ticket items, as exemplified by the solid growth in jewelry, luxury and even the furniture category.”
Consumer spending makes up about 70 percent of the U.S. economy, and the holiday season accounts for about 30 percent of retailers’ annual revenue.