Study: Online spending rises during U.S. holiday season

Consumers spent around $27B between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24

Online spending increased during this year's holiday season in the U.S. with more people making online purchases, research firm comScore said in a study released on Wednesday.

Consumers spent around $27 billion on products from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, an increase of 3.5% compared to last year. Consumer electronics saw particularly strong online sales, rising by around 20% compared to the corresponding period last year, comScore said.

The e-commerce sector is turning around after a disappointing performance during last year's holiday season, said comScore's chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement. Online spending last year dropped by 3% as consumers held back holiday purchases during the economic downturn.

Online spending per buyer decreased slightly this year because of the continued economic challenges, comScore said. But there was a rise in the overall number of holiday buyers, which boosted online spending.

Retailers encouraged purchases by offering online promotions and free shipping. Social networking was also used effectively as a tool to promote deals, comScore said. Dell in December said it posted deals on the Twitter online messaging service that resulted in more than $6.5 million in revenue to date.

The largest amount spent online during the period was $859 million on Dec. 14, a drop of 1% compared to last year. However, the growth rate peaked on Dec. 15, when online spending went up by 21%.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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