Online sales exceed lofty expectations

Retailers expected online sales to hit record levels in 2014 and did they ever.

New all-time highs for e-commerce sales are now expected for the November through December time frame following a strong surge in sales during the final week before Christmas, according to the digital measurement firm comScore.

U.S. retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers from Nov. 1 through Dec. 21 increased 15 percent to $48.3 billion from $42 billion during the same period the prior year, according to comScore. Much of that volume came during the final week before Christmas (Dec. 15-21) when online sales surged 18 percent to $5.8 billion.

"This final week of online holiday shopping before Christmas was very strong, finishing off the season on a high note and virtually guaranteeing e-commerce spending will outperform our pre-season forecast," said comScore chairman emeritus Gian Fulgoni. "We are now running at a 15 percent growth rate in desktop e-commerce for the season, which should be taken as a very positive sign for the economic health of both the American consumer and the e-commerce channel as a whole.”

In the final week of the year, another $5 billion in online sales volume is expected to push e-commerce to another new all-time high.

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