Online Jewelry and Watch Sales Up 69%

From Nov. 1 through Dec. 3 online sales reached $12.42 billion, an increase of 25 percent versus the same period a year ago, according to comScore Networks. This gain is being driven by a 17 percent increase in the number of online buyers, coupled with a 7 percent increase in the average dollars spent per buyer.

“Clearly, comScore’s data are confirming that more and more consumers are becoming comfortable buying online,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of Reston, Virg.-based company that measures digital data. “But, an accentuating factor is that online spending per buyer is also increasing—as a result of more buying transactions and an increase in higher-ticket purchases.”

Jewelry and watches are among the top categories this season in terms average money spent and fastest growing, according to comScore.

Higher-ticket purchases are having an impact on the average order value in several retail categories. For the 2006 Holiday season, to-date, the computer hardware category has the highest average order value at $292, followed by consumer electronics ($153), video game consoles & accessories ($141), jewelry & watches ($128), and event tickets ($123).

That most of the higher-ticket categories also appeared on the list of fastest growing retail categories confirms that they are significant growth drivers for this year’s holiday season. Specifically, online spending on jewelry & watches has grown 69 percent, while event tickets is up 66 percent, video game consoles & accessories is up 51 percent, and consumer electronics is up 37 percent.

For the holiday season to date, spending from home locations has increased 30 percent versus year ago while spending from work is up 19 percent.

“As broadband connectivity in the home continues to rise, we’re seeing some online spending shift from work computers to home computers,” Fulgoni said.