Holiday spending so far up 24 percent to $11.7 billion: comScore

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Retail e-commerce spending in this holiday season reached $11.7 billion to date, up 24 percent from last year, according to a comScore Networks study.

The study tracked sales on U.S. retail sites from Nov. 1 through Dec. 1, which were up from the $9.45 billion sales counted in the same period last year.

"Retailers are offering more aggressive promotions and the bricks-and-mortar stores are marketing much more," said Gian Fulgoni, chairman at comScore, Reston, VA. "All of this is adding up to some pretty good growth."

What helped was strong consumer spending during recent shopping days, including Cyber Monday, Nov. 27 and Tuesday, Nov. 28, which saw $608 million in spending.

Interestingly, visits to retail Web sites were up only 12 percent by comparison, demonstrating that consumers have increased spending per visit by 11 percent.

According to Mr. Fulgoni, the disparity between online sales and visits can be accounted by larger average transactions. He said that jewelry and consumer electronics were big this season.

The trend is expected to continue through December, Mr. Fulgoni said. He expects $24 billion combined online sales revenue for November and December, up 24 percent over last year.

However, it is too early to predict a continued rise in sales for 2007, Mr. Fulgoni said.

"We expect a very strong year with at least a 20 percent increase in online sales," he said.

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