Internet consumers jumped head first into the holiday spirit, ringing up a record $2 billion in online sales in the week after Thanksgiving, a study reported.
According to comScore Networks , an online market research firm based in Reston, Va., Internet consumer spending is on track to reach a fourth-quarter record, buoyed by a 34 percent jump in sales the week after the Thanksgiving holiday from a year earlier.
The $2 billion spent online by consumers in the week after Thanksgiving, compared with about $1.5 billion in the year-earlier week, provided a substantial boost to Internet retailers` holiday-season sales, said Michelle David Adams, vice president of comScore Networks.
The firm records Internet sales from more than 50,000 online merchants, including Amazon.com
(AMZN: Research, Estimates), on a daily basis.
“Holiday e-commerce spending continues to gather momentum as retailers enter the most intensive weeks of the holiday shopping season,” Adams said.
“While travel spending was the dominant force pushing e-commerce trends higher in the off-season, non-travel sales have now become the growth engine, as consumers come online in droves to take advantage of the Internet`s convenience, competitive pricing and wide product selection,” she said.
While overall holiday retail sales are expected to grow modestly, online shoppers are expected to spend $25 billion to $26 billion in the fourth quarter, up 58 percent to 65 percent from $15.8 billion last year, according to comScore.
Cumulative consumer online sales from Nov. 1 through Dec. 6 reached $8.2 billion, up 29 percent from the same period a year earlier year, as shoppers increased purchases of products they traditionally felt more comfortable buying in stores, according to comScore.
“Things like books, CDs and DVDs have had strong sales in past years,” Adams said. “Now consumers are buying more personal objects such as apparel and accessories, and jewelry and watches, two categories that demonstrate an increased comfort level with buying online.”
Spending on jewellery and watches rose 66 percent to $121 million between Nov. 1 through Dec. 6, compared with the year-earlier period, while spending on apparel and accessories increased 26 percent to $902 million over the same time.
Analyst Allyson Rodgers of brokerage Ragen MacKenzie said online retail sales should be healthy this holiday season as a growing number of shoppers use the Internet to respond to promotions, search for products and compare prices.
“Conditions for e-commerce for this year are better than in previous years,” Rodgers said.
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