U.S. Online Holiday Spending To Jump 17 Percent To $43.4B; Consumers Already Spent $10.1B

comScore is reporting its annual holiday retail e-commerce spending data. Already for the first 18 days of the November – December 2012 holiday season, $10.1 billion has been spent online, a 16 percent increase from last year. Thursday, November 8 has been the heaviest online spending day of the season to date at $829 million.

That’s pretty impressive considering we haven’t even hit the marquis spending days yet, including Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

For the entire season, comScore is forecasting that consumers will spend $43.4 billion online, up 17 percent from last year. Last year saw a 15 percent increase in sales online. comScore says this is also ahead of the retail industry’s expectation for a 4.1 percent increase in consumers’ overall spending this holiday season.

“The 2012 online holiday shopping season is off to an encouraging start with a 16-percent growth thus far,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni, said in a release. “Recent 5-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. This spending growth also reflects the continuing channel shift to online as consumers increasingly opt for the attractive pricing, convenience and product selection it offers.”

Gartner is reporting that online holiday purchases will increase by 12% over last year, reaching almost $96 billion in revenue. And they are reporting that more than 51% of consumers will shop online this holiday season.

In Q3, consumer spending online jumped 15 percent. And we’re definitely going to see an increase in mobile shopping as well.

According to comScore’s quarterly online retail survey, 37 percent of U.S. consumers use a smartphone while in a brick and mortar store to check prices or to even purchase a product online, an increase of 5 percentage points in the past two quarters.

Amazon has been aggressively trying to get consumers to purchase on the e-commerce site while in stores, but retailers are catching on to this. It should be interesting to see how this translates into sales and numbers this season.