According to comScore Networks, online spending at U.S. sites during 2006 jumped 24 percent compared to 2005, to a total of $102 billion for the year. Of that spending, almost a quarter landed during the end-of-year holiday season, which comScore tallies as accounting for some $24.6 billion in spending, up 24 percent from 2005.
“2006 was certainly an exceptional year for online retailers as e-commerce spending eclipsed $100 billion for the first time, and growth remained very strong with a 24-percent increase versus last year,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “The online holiday shopping season of course played a vital role in the year’s success, as spending accelerated during the final two months of the year, helping push total online retail spending over the $100 billion threshold.”
comScore’s figures for the 2006 holiday season show 12 days which cleared $600 million in online transactions, with Wednesday, December 13, leading the pack for online shoppers with nearly $667 million in online transactions. In comparison, during 2005 only six days of the holiday season cleared $500 million in online sales, with a top day of just $556 million.
The numbers show that online buying, as long suspected, is the refuge of many a holiday procrastinator—folks who put off their holiday buying and gift-giving plans until the last minute, then look to online retailers as a way to save time, pull their fannies out of the fire, and avoid the traffic and crowds slamming brick-and-mortar retailers.
Not that we ever put off our gift plans until the last minute. We’re just sayin’.