Jewelry and Watches Fuel Record Online Holiday Spending

Growth in online retail this holiday season has been primarily driven by significant spending increases in both high-ticket and popular gift categories, comScore Networks reports. The high-ticket category experiencing the highest gain over the prior year was Jewelry & Watches with a 66 percent increase. Also popular among online consumers were Video Game Consoles (up 54 percent from the prior year) and Consumer Electronics (up 33 percent).

Popular gift categories included Video Games (up 65 percent), Event Tickets (up 54 percent), Toys (up 36 percent), Sport & Fitness (up 34 percent), and Apparel & Accessories (up 31 percent), according to the Reston, Va.-based company that measures digital data.

During the first 50 days of the holiday season, ended Dec. 20, total online retail spending reached $21.68 billion, marking a 26-percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005, comScore reports.

“Late-season online shoppers spent more than $1.5 billion in the first three days of the final work-week before Christmas (Dec. 18 – Dec. 20), up 35 percent versus the corresponding days last year,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. “In past years, online spending slowed significantly well before Christmas, but this year, spending has accelerated up until the final days of the holiday season. The surge in late season online buying appears to be the result of retailers’ shipping guarantees, coupled with consumers’ willingness to pay for expedited shipping and their confidence that their purchases will arrive on time.”