Chart of the Week: Online Holiday Sales Rose 5 Percent in 2009

U.S. consumers spent $27 billion online during the 2009 holiday shopping season from November 1 to December 24, 2009, up 5 percent from the same 2008 period.

“Following last year’s disappointing performance when sales fell by 3 percent, the ecommerce sector saw a positive 2009 holiday shopping season with sales up by 5 percent,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, whose company tracks Internet trends, including ecommerce sales.

“Online sales growth this year was driven by a continued increase in the number of people buying online, but consumers’ economic challenges resulted in a slight decline versus last year in the amount spent per buyer. The season featured a strong start as a result of early retailer promotions and a very strong finish helped by the snow storms that occurred the weekend of December 19 – 20, retailers’ willingness to offer free shipping later in the season, and consumers’ confidence in expedited shipping arriving in time. This was also a year when retailers substantially boosted their use of social network marketing and the larger retailers significantly outperformed their smaller brethren. In these tough economic times, the retailers with sufficient financial resources and a willingness to invest in aggressive marketing and free shipping offers were clear winners. In terms of individual product categories, consumer electronics saw particularly strong sales growth of slightly over 20 percent, while jewelry and watches also turned in a strong performance, but which followed a very weak 2008 season.”

PEC Staff

PEC Staff

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