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Holiday e-retail increases at least 11% so far this season

Published: 09 Dec 2014 02:54:11 PST

A comScore report finds that U.S. consumers have spent more than $17.5 billion from desktop computers.

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The holiday shopping season so far has brought in $17.518 billion in e-retail purchases from U.S. consumers shopping on desktop computers, according to the latest estimate from comScore Inc. That’s 11% higher than the $15.783 billion spent over the first 23 days of November last year.

The estimate does not include sales from mobile devices—such sales would have likely added one or two percentage points to the 2014 year-over-year sales gain so far, says Andrew Lipsman, comScore’s vice president of  marketing and insights. “Mobile is more of a challenge to process on the same reporting timetable as desktop,” he says, “so we will not be reporting mobile numbers alongside desktop when our reports come out, though we will have some mobile detail to include as the season evolves.” ComScore produces regular holiday e-commerce spending reports during November and December.

This afternoon’s comScore report follows a similar report from IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark that shows online sales on Nov. 22 and 23, the weekend before Thanksgiving, were up 18.7% compared to the same period last year. That estimate included sales completed on mobile devices and stems from data from IBM’s work with 8,000 brands and 35,000 e-commerce clients; a spokeswoman says "our trend data is based on millions of real-time transactions across hundreds of major U.S. retail websites." ComScore, meanwhile, relies on a panel of 1 million U.S. Internet users to arrive at its estimates. The comScore estimate excludes travel, auctions and large corporate purchases.

Friday, Nov. 21, stands as the “heaviest online spending day” so far, with retailers booking some $914 million in purchases from online shoppers. Spending has exceeded $900 million on two other days this month: Wednesday, Nov. 12, and Wednesday, Nov. 19.

For the 2014 entire holiday season, comScore anticipates 16% growth in online sales. That includes a 14% year-over-year increase in desktop sales and a 25% increase in mobile sales, according to a projection comScore released earlier this month.

“Although current growth rates are trailing slightly the anticipated full season growth rate, it is important to note that this gap should be essentially made up with the extra shopping day between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year compared to last year,” says Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman emeritus. “In addition, given the recent strength on certain individual spending days, it is likely we'll see our first ever billion dollar spending day occur prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, before the heaviest part of the season even kicks off.”

Last year, Cyber Monday—the first Monday after Thanksgiving—sparked $1.735 billion worth of e-commerce transactions. That was the first of the billion-dollar e-commerce holiday shopping days recorded by comScore last year.

By Thad Rueter Senior Editor
November 25, 2014, 3:45 PM

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