Report: U.S. online holiday spending up 15.4 pct

It’s beginning to look at lot like a green Christmas for some online retailers—perhaps with many consumers starting the New Year in the red. According to a MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse report U.S. online spending during the holiday season so far is up some 15.4 percent compared to last year, accounting for some $36.4 billion in spending. And during this holiday season, six out of the seven weeks since October 31 have registered double-digit growth in online spending compared to 2009, and six days with more than $1 billion in online sales.

“Today eCommerce accounts for a much larger share of overall retail sales compared to a few years ago,” noted MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse VP Michael McNamara, in a statement.

Clothing and apparel was the overall leading category, with some 18.8 percent of all U.S. holiday season sales coming from online transactions—that’s up from 16.9 percent last year. Consumer electronics also showed significant gains, and online sales of jewelry also showed modest gains. Top online spending days included Tuesday, November 30 and Wednesday, December 1st with $1.16 billion and $1.13 billion in online transactions, respectively. Those figured suggest many online shoppers put off “Cyber Monday” until Tuesday and Wednesday—although Monday, November 29th also rang up $999.3 million in online sales, which represented a 25.3 percent increase over “Cyber Monday” in 2009.