Online Holiday Buyers Spend $4B in a Week

Free Shipping Day ends week on a strong note.

by staff writer
- Dec 20, 2011

Shoppers weren't shy about shelling out the big bucks as they crossed people off their lists and spent more than $4 billion in just a few days last week.

That's according to researcher, comScore, which reports that, last week, four individual days had $1 billion in sales. The highest of these was Dec. 12 with $1.1 billion in sales. Free Shipping Day, Dec. 16, was the second-busiest online shopping day of the week with $1.07 billion in sales. That's a 14-percent increase for the day compared to a year ago, comScore notes.

Free Shipping Day "put the exclamation point" on the busy shopping week, which will likely be the busiest of the holiday season, says comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.

"While next week may see another strong day or two at the beginning of the week, it's clear that we have now reached the crescendo for this season, and that spending will begin to slow as we get closer to Christmas, leaving Cyber Monday as the top ranked shopping day for the second year in a row," he says.

Free shipping has become a key driver of online buying activity over the past few years

So far, shoppers have spent more than $30.9 billion on holiday shopping—15 percent more than they did a year ago, comScore reports.

The researcher notes that fewer retailers offered incentives like free shipping during the second week of December, but they brought these back during the third week, bringing sales back up.

"Free shipping is undoubtedly one of the most important incentives for consumers and has become a key driver of online buying activity over the past few years," Fulgoni adds. "This season has seen a continuation of the trend where an increasing percentage of transactions involve free shipping, as more consumers demand it and more retailers provide it."

He adds that during Thanksgiving week and Cyber week, the week after Thanksgiving, comScore saw at least three in five transactions with free shipping. This was "significantly higher rates than we've ever previously observed," he notes.

About the Author

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.

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