December 11, 2006 The internet is growing rapidly in consumer usage and spending and this year will be the biggest year ever by a 25 percent margin over last year. The heaviest online shopping day of the 2006 holiday season is expected to occur this week according to comScore. The inline measurement company yesterday released its estimates of consumer online non-travel (retail) spending at U.S. sites for the 2006 holiday season through December 8 and during the first 38 days of the season this year, total online retail spending reached $15.6 billion, marking a 25-percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005. “Online consumer spending growth continues to beat expectations,,” said comScore Networks chairman Gian Fulgoni. “The single-biggest online consumer spending day last year was Monday, December 12 with $556 million spent, but this year we’ve already seen 7 days eclipse $600 million in spending. In fact, each of the five days in the most recent work week (Monday, December 4 – Friday, December 8) exceeded $610 million. We expect that the heaviest day of this holiday season will occur during the week of December 11, with sales that should approach $700 million.”
Despite the first mover advantage held by online-only retailers, an analysis of sales by retailer for the 2006 holiday season so far reveals the current strength of multi-channel retailers. While Amazon ranks first in online sales this season, only three of the ten largest online retailers are “pure-plays.” Retailers with bricks and mortar stores take seven of the top ten spots. Among the sites with the highest online sales, some are generating growth rates in excess of 50 percent. Best Buy ranks highest in sales growth, followed by Ticketmaster, Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Victoria’s Secret, clearly revealing the strength of the multi-channel retailers.