comScore just released its U.S. online holiday spending numbers for the season to-date, and as predicted, consumers continued to spend online in record amounts. For the first 39 days of the November to December 2011 holiday season, $24.6 billion has been spent online, which is a 15 percent increase compared to the same days last year.
The most recent week ending Dec. 9 reached $5.9 billion in spending, up 15 percent with 3 days surpassing $1 billion in spending. For the holiday season-to-date, six individual days have surpassed the billion dollar threshold, led by Cyber Monday at $1.25 billion.
To put this in perspective, seven individual shopping days have surpassed $1 billion in spending, and the majority of these took place this year. Cyber Monday 2011 leads with $1.25 billion in sales, and Monday, December 5, 2011 now ranks as the second heaviest spending day in history at $1.18 billion.
So why are so many people flocking online? It’s partly due to more emphasis on coupons and deals as well as an increased amount of free shipping offers by retailers. Another interesting factor to consider is how much mobile helped contribute to this year’s surge in online spending. More and more consumers are using price comparison apps, and making purchases on their mobile phones both from their couches, desks and from inside brick and mortar stores. E-commerce companies are quickly catching on to this trend, and are even offering strong incentives (i.e. Amazon) to use and buy via mobile apps.
And there are still more big spending days on the horizon.
Tomorrow brings Green Monday. The term “Green Monday” was coined by eBay in 2007 to describe the Monday occurring around the second week of December, which has tended to be the heaviest online spending days of the year, as it is one of the last days of the week where consumers can purchase and still receive shipping by the holidays. Over the past six holiday shopping seasons, “Green Monday” has consistently ranked among the top spending days of the season.
Free Shipping day is also this week, which is a marketing event that takes place Friday, December 16, and is also one of the last days when merchants offer free shipping with delivery by Christmas Eve. comScore says that in past years Free Shipping Day has helped boost online spending activity later into the season. Last year’s Free Shipping Day, for example, was the third heaviest online spending day of the year at $942 million, a 61 percent increase from 2009.
With more spending on the horizon, clearly e-retailers are in for a very merry holiday season.