Online Holiday Spend Estimated To Hit $43.4 Billion: comScore

By Anu Passary | Nov 22, 2012 12:49 PM EST

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With the holiday season knocking at the doorstep, the consumer market is expected to see a surge in sales and revenue and reports suggest that online retailers may just be among the biggest gainers. Per a comScore report, shopping spend via the Internet alone is estimated to generate $43.4 billion in November and December this year.

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According to the comScore report, the current retail e-commerce spending for the holiday season to-date (first 18 days of November) is $10.1 billion, which is a 16 percent increase from the same period in 2011. Additionally, Nov. 8 was the most lucrative online day of the season with consumers shelling out a mean $829 million.

"The strength leading up to and during the holiday season-to-date, in addition to a maximum 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, provide the basis for what we view as a fairly optimistic outlook for the 2012 online holiday shopping season," said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement. "This would put an exclamation point on what has already been a strong year for retail e-commerce."

If comScore's $43.4 billion forecast bears fruition, then it would mean that online spending has increased 17 percent from last year. The increase in online sales is seeing a steady growth as the 2011 figures were a 15 percent increase over 2010 sales. The emerging trend augurs well for e-commerce. What's more, this year's estimation is much higher than the industry's expectation of a 4.1 percent rise in consumer spend for this holiday season.

"Recent five-year highs in consumer confidence and early retailer promotions appear to be serving as wind in the sails for the beginning portion of the holiday season, with consumers opening up their wallets early and often," noted Fulgoni.

Fulgoni also opined that the growth in spend is reflective of the emerging trends and consumer preferences, indicating a shift to e-retailers. The driving factors for this shift to online retailers vis-à-vis brick and mortar stores could be due to convenience, attractive deals and pricing offers, as well as product selection.

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