Record Holiday Online Spending Continues after Christmas

It was the night after Christmas and all through the house only two creatures were stirring, a shopper and  a mouse. A computer mouse that is.

Even after Christmas passed consumers were still busy ordering products as online retail (non-travel) spending at U.S. Web sites reached record numbers, according to comScore Networks.

The Reston, Va.-based company, which tracks digital data, reports that spending during the first 56 days of the 2006 holiday season, ended Dec. 26, reached $23.11 billion, a 26-percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005.

In addition, sales during the week prior to Christmas (Dec. 18 – Dec. 22) rose 38 percent versus the corresponding week in 2005. Importantly, year-to-date non-travel e-commerce spending surpassed the $100 billion mark for the first time ever on Dec. 23.

“That online retail consumer spending for the year-to-date has surpassed the $100 billion mark is a testament to the continued growth and strength of the online marketplace,” Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. “Retail e-commerce now accounts for approximately 7 percent of consumers’ U.S. retail spending (excluding gas, autos, and food), making it an important component of the total U.S. economy.”

Ranked by total retail sales for the holiday season through Dec. 26, Amazon.com topped the list, followed by Dell.com, Yahoo.com and Walmart.com, comScore reports. An analysis of leading retailers by percentage increase in sales from 2005 to 2006 found that consumer electronics retailer Bestbuy.com achieved the greatest gains, followed by Walmart.com and Ticketmaster.com, with each of these three sites experiencing gains in excess of 50 percent.