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

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 US$27 billion on products from November 1 to December 24, an increase of 3.5 compared to last year. Consumer electronics saw particularly strong online sales, rising by around 20 percent 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 percent 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 December 14, a drop of 1 percent compared to last year. However, the growth rate peaked on December 15, when online spending went up by 21 percent.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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