December 31, 2010

US Online Holiday Sales Total $30.8 Billion

Research firm comScore found that Americans racked up a record $30.8 billion in online holiday sales in 2010, which is up 13 percent from last year.

The research firm said holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the 56 days of the holiday period had been fueled by a late surge in spending.

"Online holiday spending has remained strong through Christmas and we've already seen the season totals easily surpass the levels of the past few years to set a new record for spending at almost 31 billion dollars," comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement.

"For at least this holiday season, the American consumer has been able to shrug off the continuing economic challenges of high unemployment rates and depressed housing prices and spend at a rate that has been slightly stronger than we had expected," he added.

"After the past few years' struggles, it is gratifying to see e-commerce return to a state that can only be described as a very merry holiday shopping season."

Computer products were among some of the best selling products, up 23 percent from last year.  Books and magazines were in second with a 22 percent increase compared to last year, followed by consumer electronics with 21 percent, computer software with 20 percent and toys with a 16 percent jump.

MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse showed in a separate survey this week that overall holiday spending was up 5.5 percent.

"If last year's holiday story was about gaining some stability, this year's is about getting back to growth," Michael McNamara, vice president at SpendingPulse, said in a statement.

"We also saw a noticeable return in spending in the larger ticket items, as exemplified by the solid growth in jewelry, luxury and even the furniture category."


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