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Hey, big (online) spender! Final-week holiday spending jumps colossal 53 percent on a year ago

As far as Christmas Day-related online shopping goes, time’s well and truly up. There will of course be those who waited until the very last minute to place their online order, left to sweat it out Monday wondering if their goods will arrive on time, and consequently whose New Year’s resolution will be to “sort out the procrastination problem.”

But as data from research firm comScore shows, plenty of US consumers have shopped online in good time this year – and shopped big – to ensure delivery before the big day.

Figures from comScore on Sunday showed that for the November/December holiday season, US shoppers have so far spent $38.7 billion online, a 16 percent rise on the same time last year.

Free Shipping Monday, this year on December 17 and traditionally a big money-spinner for e-commerce companies, motivated plenty of shoppers to get their credit cards out and start spending, with a shade over a billion dollars going the way of online retailers. While still an impressive figure, it wasn’t enough to push it into 2012’s top 10 online spending days. Top of the chart is Cyber Monday (November 26), which saw American shoppers spend $1.465 billion online, up 17 percent on a year earlier, according to comScore.

The amount spent online for the five-day work week ending December 21 marked a huge 53 percent increase over the same time last year, a feat the research firm described as “a notable accomplishment this late in the season.”

Chairman of comScore Gian Fulgoni explained the jump in a report on the firm’s website, saying, “We typically do not see such heavy spending this late in the season, but the fact that Free Shipping Day occurred on a Monday, combined with the fact that so many retailers extended their promotions into the middle of the week – with guaranteed shipping by Christmas – helped deliver an encouraging late-season surge. The result has been a significant uptick in the season-to-date growth rate, which now stands at 16 percent.”

With so much spent online in such a short space of time, the delivery companies are also being pushed to the limit, with most having to hire extra workers to cope with demand. It appears most are dealing with the extra business just fine, although a few unusual delivery-related stories have managed to hit the headlines in recent days.

[Image: DeiMosz / Shutterstock]

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