Online 2012 Holiday Spending Grows 14%; Cyber Monday Top Day

Online 2012 Holiday Spending Grows 14%; Cyber Monday Top Day This holiday season’s online spending hit $42.3 billion for November and December, representing a 14 percent increase from 2011, according to comScore.
But the total fell short of comScore‘s expectations, likely the result of waning confidence among shoppers spooked by fiscal cliff concerns. The anticipated growth rate was in excess of 16 percent, and the actual sales figure fell a billion dollars short of projections.
In December, the season did see several days with particularly strong growth, including Free Shipping Day on Monday, Dec. 17 (up 76 percent to $1.013 billion) and Christmas Day (up 36 percent to 288 million).
But those two days could not make up for the slowed spending growth earlier in the month.
While the holiday season started off with strong growth rates in the mid-teens, a December easing in consumer confidence gave way to softer than expected buying during the critical shopping weeks in early to mid-December.
Nonetheless, Cyber Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, ranks as the biggest online spending day for the third consecutive year at $1.465 billion.
“While November started out at a very healthy 16-percent growth rate through the promotional period of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers almost immediately pulled back on spending, apparently due to concerns over the looming fiscal cliff and what that might mean for their household budgets in 2013,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “With Congress deadlocked throughout December, growth rates softened even further and never quite made up enough ground to reach our original expectation.”

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