Thanks To Free Shipping Offers, Online Holiday Sales Surge 16 Percent To $39B

Holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 51 days of the season is up 16 percent to $38.7 billion, according to comScore. This past week, which was the last full week consumers could order gifts online and receive them in time for Christmas, saw Free Shipping Day (Monday, Dec. 17) bring in $1.01 billion in spending. This past week brought in a whopping 53 percent increase in spending, thanks to free shipping offers.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said that the combination of Free Shipping Day with “the fact that so many retailers extended their promotions into the middle of the week — with guaranteed shipping by Christmas — helped deliver an encouraging late-season surge.”

As we see more numbers late in the holiday season, it looks like a banner year for online retailers. The 2012 holiday season saw 12 days with more than $1 billion spending, surpassing last year’s total of 10 individual days. Cyber Monday led the charge with a record $1.465 billion in spending, followed by Tuesday Dec. 4 with $1.362 billion and Green Monday Dec. 10 with $1.275 billion.

Already, the growth rate for spending is above comScore estimates for the season.While Christmas is just days away, consumers still flock to the web for shopping during the week between the holiday and New Year’s as retailers offer sales and promotions. So we’ll see what the final tally is for the season very soon.

‘Free Shipping Day’1