US Online Spending Up This Christmas

Author: Adi Gaskell
Published: January 04, 2013 at 7:24 am

Earlier this week figures were released showing that UK shoppers had flocked to the Internet for their Christmas shopping in 2012, with over £1 billion spent over the festive season.

Figures released by comScore this week reveal a similarly strong picture for American e-commerce.

The figures reveal that American shoppers spent $42.3 billion online between November 1st and December 31st 2012.  That represents an increase of 14% on the figures for 2011.

The data revealed that spending was especially strong on Thanksgiving Day, with a 32% increase on last year.  Free Shipping Day on the 17th December was also very popular with over $1 billion spent that day, an increase of 76%.

Christmas Day itself also saw $288 million spent online, which was an increase of 36% on the figures for 2011.

Online spending in US 

The figures are pretty much in line with expectations, as comScore had predicted an increase of 16% year on year. 

Chairman Gian Fulgoni said

“November started out at a very healthy 16-percent growth rate through the promotional period of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but consumers almost immediately pulled back on spending, apparently due to concerns over the looming fiscal cliff and what that might mean for their household budgets in 2013.”

It is likely that social media played a big part in the growth in sales over the festive period.  Research from SAP in December revealed that nearly 1/4 purchases were made after a recommendation was given via social media.  Retailers should also beware that 1/8 purchases were cancelled because of a negative review. 

Research has shown the importance of reviews, and importantly the first reviews we see.  Our opinions are formed based upon the first review we see, regardless of subsequent information.  With social media playing an increasing role in our festive shopping, it's a lesson retailers would do well to heed.


About this article

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Article Author: Adi Gaskell

A writer on management issues for publications such as Professional Manager, CMI, HRM Today, Business Works and Technorati. I also cover social media for Social Media Today, DZone and Social Business News.

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