Holiday Ecommerce Spending Nears $20 Billion: ComScore

Online measurement firm ComScore says holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 34 days of the holiday shopping season was approaching $20 billion for the week ending Dec. 4. That marks a 15% increase vs. the corresponding days last year, according to ComScore.

Ecommerce momentum carried into last week, when there were three individual days with more than $1 billion in spending. Cyber Monday, which became the heaviest online spending day on record, reached $1.25 billion. Tuesday, Nov. 29 reached $1.12 billion, while Wednesday, Nov. 30 reached $1.03 billion. Growth softened somewhat during the latter part of the workweek, but strengthened over the weekend (Dec. 3-4) to 17%.

In a departure from the past couple of years when the growth in number of buyers was the predominant driver of online spending growth, the majority of this year’s gains are being driven by an increase in spending per buyer. According to ComScore, the number of buyers overall has increased just 3% compared to a 12% increase in dollars per buyer.

Analysis of the trends by household income revealed some differences by income segment. While mid- and upper-income households’ spending growth has been predominantly driven by an increase in dollars per buyer, lower income households’ spending rates have remained essentially flat while showing an increase in the number of buyers.

The strongest overall spending gains have been driven by the mid-income segment (households earning $50,000-$99,999) at 19%, while spending among upper-income households ($100,000 and higher) is growing at a rate of 16%. Lower-income households (Under $50,000) are seeing a more modest increase of 9%.

Payment processing company Chase Paymentech paints a similar picture in its Chase Paymentech Holiday Pulse Index, which follows 50 U.S. online retailers. Chase Paymentech says holiday season online sales have grown 27%, with transactions up 39% through Dec. 4.

Prior to Thanksgiving, the index showed online sales growth of nearly 30%. The weekend including Black Friday leveled to 24%, while sales during the week beginning on Cyber Monday grew 28% over last year.

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