Holiday e-commerce sales up 5% as more shoppers migrate online

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E-commerce sales jumped 5% to $27 billion for the 2009 holiday shopping season compared with a year ago, according to ComScore. The online measurement firm released the data on Dec. 30 based on online sales tallied November 1 through Christmas Eve.

From Black Friday (November 27) through Christmas Eve, and adjusting for the additional shopping day in 2009, sales grew by about 3.5%. Cyber Monday (November 30) sales grew 5% year over year.

“Following last year's disappointing performance when sales fell by 3%, the e-commerce sector saw a positive 2009 shopping season with sales up by 5%,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of ComScore, in a statement. “Online sales growth this year was driven by a continued increase in the number of people buying online, but consumers' economic challenges resulted in a slight decline vs. last year in the amount spent per buyer.”

Online promotions such as free shipping lured customers to purchase as well. “In these tough economic times, the retailers with sufficient financial resources and a willingness to invest in aggressive marketing and free shipping offers were clear winners,” Fulgoni said.

ComScore's findings jive with another holiday sales tally. From November 1 to Christmas Eve, online sales rose 15.5% year-over-year, according to MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse. In addition, MasterCard said since November 27, e-commerce sales rose 18% compared with last year.

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