U.S. online holiday spending surpasses $21 billion to date

Reston, Va. -- Online holiday spending reached $21.4 billion for first 32 days of the November-December shopping season, up 14% year-over-year, according to comScore.

The most recent week saw three individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending, led by Cyber Monday, which became the heaviest online spending day on record at $1.46 billion. However, growth rates softened considerably in the wake of Cyber Monday and through the weekend.       

“While Cyber Monday was a high point for holiday e-commerce spending and Cyber Week saw several strong spending days, there was a clear softening in the growth rate during the back half of the week,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “It is likely that, to some extent, holiday spending was pulled forward to the Thanksgiving-Black Friday period given the heightened promotional activity around that time. And some of the softening is a natural post-Cyber Monday lull that we often experience, an effect that may be somewhat more pronounced this year given the additional shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Thus far in the season, spending growth is being driven both by an increase in the number of buyers (up 9% to 128.7 million) and the average spending per buyer (up 5% to $165.90), according to the comScore research. The increase in spending per buyer is coming primarily from an increase in the number of transactions (up 4% to 2.19 per buyer) as opposed to the amount spent per transaction (up only 1% to $75.90).

“That we are seeing growth come from an increase in both the number of buyers and the average spending per buyers suggests broad-based strength in the e-commerce sector,” added Fulgoni. “It reflects not only the health of the e-commerce channel as more people buy online, but also the health of the consumer who has been willing to spend more online this year than last.”

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