Online shopping is expected to increase for this shopping season just as it has for the previous two years. According to comScore’s industry analysis of online shopping and spending behaviors, there were ten days during the 2011 holiday shopping season when online sales exceeded $1 billion. For 2012, sales exceeded $1 billion for 12 days of the shopping season. The top ten days for online shopping during all of 2012 were during the holiday shopping season.
How Sales Have Increased
According to comScore online shopping for the 2012 holiday shopping season increased by 14 percent over a year ago. Over the November 1 to December 31 shopping period more than $42 billion was spent shopping online in 2012. This represents a steady increase in online sales for the holiday season. Increases for online sales over the 2010, 2011 and 2012 shopping seasons are as follows:
This data represents only retail sales and does not include spending on travel, auctions or large corporate spending. Weekly increases in sales over the 2011 and 2012 holiday seasons are as follows:
Big Chains Are Beneficiaries of Online Sales
Big chain retailers with an online presence, such as Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and Nordstrom are continuing to grow their e-commerce business with online sales that exceed those of the overall market. While total e-commerce sales across the US increased 18.4% from 2011, some of the big chain retailers have realized larger gains.
Retailers are investing more in the e-commerce aspects of their businesses. Walmart increased the online presence for much of its merchandise. They added a free shipping program and improved search capabilities on their site. Walmart professes to have the lowest online prices for 70% of the products sold online. Kohl’s has a new and expanded online platform. Nordstrom has also upgraded its online platform and improved the search and navigation functions. Some of its advertised merchandise is provided online with a 360-degree view, and sales for some online merchandise are exceeding those at storefronts.
Expectations for This Holiday Season
Consumers are becoming more and more receptive to the idea of online shopping. According to data provided by Shop.org and credit card merchant TopTenReviews, online sales are expected to increase between 13% and 15% this holiday shopping season reaching $82 billion. Online was indicated as the top destination for shopping in a survey of 5,000 consumers. Thirty eight percent of respondents indicated that they plan to not only shop online, but to complete most of their purchases online.