Online retailers see record spending levels

Faith Merino · December 6, 2010 · Short URL:

ComScore data reveals that Thanksgiving week saw four days exceed $800M

Online retailers saw stars Thanksgiving week.  Data from comScore reveals that online spending for Thanksgiving week was the highest on record, with Cyber Monday leading the fray at $1.028 billion.  Holiday spending (the first 33 days of November/December) has topped out at $16.8 billion, marking a 12% increase from last year.

The week ending in December 3 saw four individual days exceed $800 million.  While Cyber Monday took the lead, Tuesday came in second with $911 million, making it the third heaviest spending day on record.  Wednesday finished with $868 million, and on Thursday, online shoppers spent $850 million.

While Thanksgiving Day saw nowhere near the levels of spending that Cyber Monday saw, it did experience a leap in spending levels compared to last year.  Shoppers spent $407 million on Thanksgiving Day, compared to last year’s $318 million, marking a 28% increase.

The sharp increase in spending this year is largely attributable to an increase in deals and discounts.  Recent data from ShopLocal, the retail division of digital marketing services provider PointRoll, revealed that leading retailers increased their Black Friday deals by 22% this year and visits to those retailers’ websites increased by 19%. 

In keeping with that data, the bulk of the online spending this year has gone toward larger retailers who have the resources to offer more competitive deals.  ComScore’s data reveals, in fact, that almost all of the growth for the holiday season spending has come entirely from the top 25 online retailers, who have seen their total sales grow 20%.  The top 25 retailers have increased their market share by 4.3 percentage points to take 67.8% of the market while small and mid-sized retailers have dropped to 32.2% of the market.

“Cyber Monday kicked off the most recent work week with an all-time record of more than $1 billion in e-commerce spending, representing a strong 16-percent growth rate versus year ago,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni in a prepared statement. “While we saw three more days during the week with at least $800 million in spending, growth rates slowed to single-digit levels following several weeks at about 13 percent. We believe this softening is attributable to retailers’ heavy discounting and promotional activity during the earlier part of the holiday season [through Cyber Monday], which pulled some consumer demand forward, resulting in a mild hangover effect in the days immediately following Cyber Monday.

ComScore also surveyed some 500 Web users about how much influence social media has on holiday shopping.  When asked if they agree with the statement “Recommendations from friends on social media sites are a great way to get gift ideas during the holiday season,” 33% agreed while 24% disagreed (43% were neutral…which is rather telling in itself, as it means that 43% don’t care one way or another). 

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