Holiday Online Sales Up 5 Percent for 2009 – Social Media Key Factor

comScore reported today that online spending for the holiday period, which runs from November 1 through Christmas Eve, was up 5 percent from last year.

Holiday Spending Up 5% in 2009

“Following last year’s disappointing performance when sales fell by 3 percent, the e-commerce sector saw a positive 2009 holiday shopping season with sales up by 5 percent,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Online sales growth this year was driven by a continued increase in the number of people buying online, but consumers’ economic challenges resulted in a slight decline versus last year in the amount spent per buyer. The season featured a strong start as a result of early retailer promotions and a very strong finish helped by the snow storms that occurred the weekend of Dec 19 – 20, retailers’ willingness to offer free shipping later in the season, and consumers’ confidence in expedited shipping arriving in time. This was also a year when retailers substantially boosted their use of social network marketing and the larger retailers significantly outperformed their smaller brethren. In these tough economic times, the retailers with sufficient financial resources and a willingness to invest in aggressive marketing and free shipping offers were clear winners. In terms of individual product categories, consumer electronics saw particularly strong sales growth of slightly over 20 percent, while jewelry and watches also turned in a strong performance, but which followed a very weak 2008 season.”

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