Online holiday spending on jewelry and watches increased 27 percent

Jewelry and watches was one of the fastest growing product categories during the holiday season, according to comScore’s “2005 Year End Online Spending Summary.”

During the holiday season (Nov. 1 – Dec. 31), the “Jewelry and Watches” category grew 27 percent when compared with the 2004 holiday season, according to the Reston, Va.-based consumer research company. It was the fifth fastest growing category of the season, behind “Apparel and Accessories” (36 percent), “Computer Software,” excluding PC Games, (36 percent), “Home & Garden” (32 percent), and “Toys & Hobbies” (32 percent).

The comScore report says the exceptional growth in a broad range of products (including jewelry and watches) is the result of consumers’ increased comfort in purchasing online.

Overall, online non-travel spending during the 2005 holiday season totaled $19.6 billion, a 25-percent increase over the $15.7 billion posted during the corresponding period in 2004. Total non-travel Internet spending for the year totaled $82.3 billion, a 24 percent increase over the previous year.

“This was clearly another very strong year for e-commerce,” Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman, said in a statement.

Fulgoni adds that comScore estimates that online spending on non-travel items now represents approximately 6 percent of all consumer retail spending, excluding expenditures for autos, gasoline, and food.

“So, a 24 percent annual increase in online spending represents more than a full percentage point of consumers’ expenditures, clearly showing that the traditional metric—retail same-store sales—alone is no longer sufficient to paint an accurate picture of trends in consumer spending,” he said.