Buyers are getting an early start on their holiday shopping and have spent more online this month than they did a year ago—which could mean a very merry holiday season for online merchants.
In fact, consumers spent 14 percent more online during the first 20 days of November this year than they did during the same time in 2010, reports comScore, a leader in measuring the digital world. The increase brings this year's total spending from Nov.1 to Nov. 20 to $9.7 billion. Nov. 16 proved to be the most profitable for online retailers, bringing in $688 million.
This year's increase encourages comScore officials that the momentum will continue into December. The company predicts consumers will spend a total of $37.6 billion on presents for loved ones and themselves this year. That's a 15 percent increase compared to last year's total, when spending reached $32.6 billion.
"With the persistent backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty and continued high unemployment, consumers appear to be increasingly favoring the online benefits of convenience and lower prices," says Gian Fulgoni, comScore's chairman. "Based on the expectations that these positive spending trends will continue for the season, this year promises to be a merry Christmas indeed for online retailers."
Earlier holiday promotions may have contributed to the spending increase. comScore reports that 33 percent of shoppers polled said they saw more promotions this November compared to last year. The survey also found that shoppers favor free shipping.
About 45 percent of buyers think the promotion is "somewhat important" and seek it out when they buy online. Thirty percent find it "very important" and won't buy an item online unless the seller offers free shipping, comScore notes.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.