While many traditional retailers expect their worst holiday season in years, e-commerce got a boost with MSN claiming that consumers spent $10.7 billion in the fourth quarter on its network of sites.
The Microsoft Corp.-owned service said deals, promotions and the convenience of shopping online were the main reasons for the sales on MSN Shopping.
Apparel was the most-shopped category on MSN this holiday season, a departure from previous years’ preference for consumer electronics. Movies, music and books also generated a high percentage of online sales.
The Redmond, WA, company said MSN Shopping saw a 50 percent surge in traffic this holiday season compared with last year. The company did not say, however, how the $10.7 billion in sales compared with last year’s fourth quarter.
Nearly 70 percent on MSN’s gift concierge service were online for gift ideas. Popular items searched included digital cameras, MP3 players, wireless networking products and Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system.
Dec. 17 was the busiest shopping day this season on MSN, with the week after Thanksgiving pulling in more than $1 billion in sales.
MSN Shopping sells products from 150 retail brands, including Dell Computer Corp., J.C. Penney Co., Circuit City Stores Inc. and Neiman Marcus.