|Sun Dec 7 2008 20:58:30|
Online Shopping on Par with Last Year's Holiday Season
By: Ina Steiner
ComScore reports that holiday online spending is now on par with last year. Retail ecommerce spending for the first 35 days of the November - December 2008 holiday season, through December 5, reached $14.92 billion, essentially the same level compared to the corresponding days last year.
The ComScore numbers suggest consumers were holding off until Thanksgiving before gearing up for holiday shopping. The fastest growing product categories during the period from December 1 through December 5 were Sport & Fitness (up 35 percent) and Consumer Electronics (up 24 percent), which saw sales surge as a result of significant price reductions on many items, including flat panel TVs.
As far as traffic, the "Retail Site Category" as a whole was up 2 percent during December 1 - 5, 2008 vs. corresponding shopping days in 2007. eBay was the number-one retail site in terms of traffic, but down 9 percent from last year. Amazon sites came in second place, with traffic up 10 percent, and Wal-Mart came in third place, with traffic up 7 percent.
ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni cautioned that the compressed time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year - five days shorter than last year - meant continued strong growth through Christmas was necessary to at least match this year's holiday spending to that of last year's.