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ComScore Sees Healthy Growth in Holiday Ecommerce Spending

While eBay got people nervous last month when it announced a cautious outlook for the holiday season, research firm comScore came out with a healthy forecast for US online spending on Tuesday, reporting an expected 14% year-over-year growth, or 16% when factoring in mobile commerce.

The 2013 online holiday shopping season is off to a solid start, according to the company, which also expects a heavy spending day on Cyber Monday, toward the $2 billion mark.

ComScore reported holiday season retail ecommerce spending for the first 24 days of the November-December 2013 holiday season, as well as its official spending forecast for the season.

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For the holiday season-to-date, $18.9 billion has been spent online using desktop computers, marking a 14 percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. Tuesday, November 19 has been the heaviest online spending day of the season to date at $963 million. Two other shopping days – Thursday, November 14 and Sunday, November 24 – have also seen at least $900 million in online retail spending.

ComScore VP of Marketing & Insights Andrew Lipsman called the early part of the online holiday shopping season “solid” but said he was tempering expectations given the shortened 26-day shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“In addition, with Hannukah beginning in November this year there is some spending that has been pulled forward and likely added a boost to the early November shopping period. That said, our forecast of 14 percent growth for desktop-based buying still represents a strong outlook versus last year that highlights the continued channel shift to online.”

ComScore also expects mobile commerce spending growth to contribute about 2 percentage points to that growth rate, “meaning that total digital commerce will grow at a rate of nearly 16 percent,” Lipsman said.

“The heaviest online spending day thus far fell just shy of $1 billion in sales, and though we’ve not yet reached that benchmark we can expect to see that spending threshold eclipsed numerous times during the post-Thanksgiving period. Black Friday and Cyber Monday can both be expected to easily surpass that total, with Cyber Monday already beginning to point toward $2 billion.”

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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