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Report: Online Holiday Shopping Down 1%

22 Dec, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Five fewer shopping days combined with a recession resulted in consumers spending $24.02 billion on online holiday shopping from Nov. 1 to Dec. 19, compared to $24.15 billion during the same period last year, according to a new report.

With shopping online occurring closer to Christmas due to the shorter holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, comScore, a Reston, Va.-based research firm, said Dec. 9 and Dec. 15 ranked as the heaviest spending days, generating revenues of $887 million and $859 million, respectively.

This year’s holiday season saw average online spending per day of $643 million, up 5% from last year.

“Despite this positive development, the combination of the compressed holiday schedule and the challenging economic situation faced by many consumers means that retailers have their work cut out for them this season,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore.

Indeed, following a strong week of Cyber Monday driven by large discounts on consumer electronics products, comScore said sales of CE slowed significantly in recent weeks.

The softest categories included music, movies and videos (down 24%); office supplies (down 19%); jewelry and watches (down 17%); and home, garden and furniture (down 16%).

Key drivers included sport and fitness (up 31%); books and magazines (up 18%); and video games, consoles and accessories (up 17%).

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