Holiday E-Commerce Sales Fall Flat

Online holiday sales deflated 3 percent this year. ComScore estimates that holiday sales in the U.S. totaled $25.5 billion between November 1 and December 23, the last day orders could be delivered in time for Christmas. The comparable total in 2007 was $26.3 billion.

Sales were struggling to keep up with last year’s totals all holiday season. In the end, they fell short. (Hitwise comes to the same conclusion).

A simple look at U.S. traffic to retail sites in December through Christmas Eve (see table below) shows that eBay had the most unique visitors (85.4 million), followed by Amazon (76.2 million), and Wal-Mart (51.5 million). Even though eBay attracted the most people, its traffic was down 4 percent from last year. Amazon saw 7 percent more visitors, which might have contributed to its claiming to have a great Christmas.

But the retail sites that saw the biggest increases in visitors was Apple (up 19 percent) and Hewlett-Packard (up 28 percent). Dell, in contrast, saw a 17 percent decline in visitors.

(Photo by Randy Son of Robert)