US Online Holiday Spend Up 4 Percent, Totals Nearly $30B

By January 06, 2010

Holiday e-commerce spending rose 4 percent year-over-year in 2009, according to comScore. U.S. consumers spent $29.1 billion online this holiday season. In 2008, the total online holiday spend was $28 billion. Do we have another new name day to add to the list? (I'm apparently out of the loop.) The highest day of spending during the 2009 holidays was “Green Tuesday” – Tuesday, December 15th – when $913 million was spent online. The second highest spending day was Cyber Monday, with $887 million. The week after Green Tuesday saw the biggest jump in holiday spending, as sales the weekend before Christmas rose 13 percent. That’s the biggest noticeable trend from 2009’s figures: many consumers held off making purchases until the final ten days before Christmas.

One indicator of increasing consumer confidence is that the highest growing category this year was the luxury category jewelry and watches, which grew 20 percent in dollar sales. Consumer electronics also saw significant growth, as sale dollars increased 15 percent.

“The 2009 online holiday shopping season was a positive one as its growth rate slightly surpassed our forecast and returned to solidly positive rates after nearly a full year of marginally negative growth,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

“It’s possible that this better-than-expected end-of-year performance is a harbinger of renewed vigor and optimism for 2010 as the consumer economy seeks to rebound from one of the worst years in memory,” Fulgoni said. “At the same time, we need to remember that consumers’ spending power remains constrained by high unemployment levels, substantial debt and a new-found desire to save.”

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