comScore just released new numbers on U.S. online holiday spending for the season-to-date, and found that consumers continued to shop online in record numbers. For the first 56 days of the November-December 2011 holiday season, $35.3 billion was spent online – an increase of 15% over the corresponding days last year, and a new record.
The most recent week ending December 25th saw $2.8 billion in spending, an increase of 16% versus the corresponding week last year.
“Cyber Monday” ranked as the heaviest online spending day of the season for the second year in a row with $1.25 billion spent, reports comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, but it was accompanied by nine other billion dollar spending days this year. These included “Green Monday” (Dec. 12th), and “Free Shipping Day,” (Dec. 16th), among others.
“Green Monday,” a term coined by eBay in 2007, refers to the Monday occurring around the second week of December, which has tended to be the heaviest online spending days of the year because it’s one of the last days where consumers can purchase online and still receive shipping by the holidays.
“Free Shipping Day” is also one of the last days when consumers can receive packages by Christmas Eve, and was the third heaviest online spending day last year at $942 million.
One interesting trend comScore found over the past few years is the dramatic increase in Christmas Day purchases of Digital Content & Subscriptions, a retail category that includes digital downloads of music, TV, movies, e-books and apps. As many consumers get new smartphones, tablets, e-readers and digital content gift certificates for Christmas, they spend Christmas Day loading up their devices with new content, the firm noted.
On an average day during the 2011 holiday season-to-date (Nov. 1 – Dec. 26), Digital Content & Subscriptions accounted for 2.8% of retail e-commerce sales, but on Christmas Day the category accounted for more than 20% of sales. As in previous years, comScore says it expects sales for this category of products to remain elevated throughout the entire week following Christmas Day.
Correction: Typo – Free Shipping Day was $942 million last year, not billion.