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

BY Katherine Boccaccio

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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Gymboree profit, comps dip in Q3

BY Katherine Boccaccio

San Francisco — The Gymboree Corp. reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Oct. 27 fell 22.6% to $46.9 million from $60.6 million in the year-ago period.

Sales edged up 2.8% to $311.5 million, but same-store sales dipped 4% in the quarter.

During fiscal 2012, the company said it maintains its plans to open approximately 124 new stores, including 98 Crazy 8 stores.

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QVC to acquire Oodle to fuel social commerce

BY Staff Writer

West Chester, Pa. — QVC announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, California Voices, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Oodle, a social commerce leader that runs the Oodle Marketplace application on Facebook. The acquisition is expected to close by Dec. 31.

"The QVC shopping experience is fundamentally social in nature," said Claire Watts, QVC U.S. CEO. "With this acquisition, we can fuel our evolving social commerce experience. Oodle brings a great team that shares our values and passion for creating a rich customer experience."

Oodle is a social marketplace where users buy, sell, and give with friends, friends of friends, neighbors, co-workers, and other people in their local community. Oodle’s Marketplace, which has over 11 million unique monthly users, is available on Oodle, Facebook, and iPhone, iPad, iTouch, and Android devices.

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