Holiday Online Retail Sales Up 24%

During the first 31 days of the 2006 holiday, total online retail spending (non-travel) reached $11.7 billion through Dec. 1, representing a 24-percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005, according to comScore Networks.

“Online consumer spending during the holiday season continues to surge, growing 24 percent versus a year ago,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of the Reston, Virg.-based company, which measures digital data. “Buoyed by strong consumer spending during recent days like Cyber Monday (Nov. 27) and Nov. 28—which each saw $608 million in spending—online sales have been strong throughout the holiday season.”

The weekly holiday survey also reports that the number of visitors to retail sites has grown 13 percent while the total number of visits has grown 12 percent, demonstrating that consumers are spending about 11 percent more this year on a “per-visit” basis.

“In the same way that offline retailers wouldn’t think of only using foot traffic counts to gauge in-store sales, savvy online retailers understand that visitation to retail Web sites alone is not a sufficient metric for measuring sales success,” Fulgoni said. “Online site visitation alone does not indicate online sales trends because it doesn’t reflect the rate of visitor-to-buyer conversion nor the value of buyers’ shopping basket. … It’s clear that consumers are increasing their spending per visit to online e-commerce sites. We believe this reflects consumers’ increased comfort with e-commerce and their willingness to purchase higher ticket items online.”