Customers did a lot more online shopping during the 2010 holiday season, surpassing prior expectations as consumers overcame economic concerns such as high unemployment and housing prices. According to comScore, retail e‑commerce spending for the entire November – December 2010 holiday season reached $32.6 billion, marking a 12% increase versus 2009, and an all-time record for the season.
For the first time since comScore began tracking e‑commerce activity in 2001, Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 29) ranked as the heaviest online spending day of 2010 at $1.028 billion. It also registers as the first online spending day on record to surpass the $1 billion spending threshold. Green Monday (Monday, Dec. 13) ranked as the second heaviest day at $954 million, followed by Monday, December 6 at $943 million. Free Shipping Day (Friday, Dec. 17) ranked fourth at $942 million, while Thursday, December 16 rounded out the top five with $930 million. Eight days in total surpassed $900 million in spending during the 2010 holiday season.
According to comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, "retailers targeted many of their promotions even earlier than usual and reaped the benefits. The (2010) season will be remembered for an exceptional Cyber Monday, which was the first billion-dollar spending day in history, and the first time we’ve witnessed Cyber Monday rank as the heaviest online spending day of the year. And of course, we cannot forget the impact of free shipping, which was used in more than half of all e‑commerce transactions this season, up significantly from last year.”
Last-minute shoppers also did their part to contribute to the numbers. Online sales for the final week before Christmas (Dec. 20–26) jumped 17% to $2.45 billion, from $2.1 billion in 2009.
On the list of fastest-growing product categories online, apparel and accessories came in 10th, with an 8% increase from last year. The big winners were computer hardware, which racked up 23% growth, thanks to the popularity of the iPad and other handheld devices; and books and magazines, which registered 22% growth.[Source: "U.S. Online Holiday Shopping Season Reaches Record $32.6 Billion for November-December Period, Up 12 Percent vs. Year Ago." comScore. 5 Jan. 2011. Web. 7 Jan. 2011.]