comScore Networks, a leader in measuring the digital age, released its estimates of consumer online non-travel (retail) spending at U.S. sites for the 2006 holiday season through Tuesday, Dec. 26. During the first 56 days of the holiday season, total online retail spending reached U.S. $23.11 billion, marking a 26-percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005. Sales during the week prior to Christmas (Dec. 18 to Dec. 22, 2006) rose 38 percent versus the corresponding week in 2005. Importantly, year-to-date non-travel e-commerce spending surpassed the $100 billion mark for the first time ever on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006.
"Online sales continued to show strong growth during the last week before Christmas when procrastinators were clicking with confidence," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks. "Consumers making purchases in those final days expressed both their faith in retailers' ability to pick and pack their orders in a timely fashion and shippers' ability to drop them on recipients' doorsteps in time for Christmas."
"That online retail consumer spending for the year-to-date has surpassed the $100 billion mark is a testament to the continued growth and strength of the online marketplace," continued Fulgoni. "Retail e-commerce now accounts for approximately 7 percent of consumers' U.S. retail spending (excluding gas, autos and food), making it an important component of the total U.S. economy."
Ranked by total retail sales for the holiday season through Dec. 26, Amazon.com topped the list, followed by Dell.com, Yahoo.com and Walmart.com. An analysis of leading retailers by percentage increase in sales from 2005 to 2006 found that consumer electronics retailer Bestbuy.com achieved the greatest gains, followed by Walmart.com and Ticketmaster.com, with each of these three sites experiencing gains in excess of 50 percent.
Growth in online retail sales during the 2006 holiday season has been fueled primarily by sales in high-ticket and popular gift categories. High-ticket categories experiencing gains include video game consoles (up 63 percent) and consumer electronics (39 percent).
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