Shopping online is becoming more popular than ever according to market research firm comScore. The company’s latest report shows consumers spent $38.7 million online during the first 51 days of the “November-December holiday season” – a 16% increase over the same period last year. ComScore says December 17th a.k.a. “Free Shipping Day,” saw 76% in growth compared to last year with “a strong $1.01 billion in spending.” A 53% growth rate in spending was also recorded on December 21st over the same period from last year, which comScore calls “a notable accomplishment this late in the season.” More →
With online shopping on the rise every year, it’s no surprise retailers are resorting to sketchy tactics to decide how to dole out discounts. According to the The Wall Street Journal’s research, online retailers including Staples, Orbitz and Home Depot are all guilty of using “discriminatory” information such as location and income to decide how much of a discount an online shopper will receive. More →
Google’s (GOOG) $17 million BufferBox acquisition last month raised the possibility that it was eyeing a chance to compete with Amazon (AMZN) on the e-commerce front. But Sameer Samat, vice president of Google Shopping, told AllThingsD this week that his company doesn’t have plans of “being a retailer right now.” Samat says the BufferBox buyout was to “provide a level playing field for retailers” against Amazon, or as AllThingsD puts it, Google wants to become a “retailer’s best tech friend.” Samat says Google is working to bring new features such as 360-degree product views to Google Shopping to help consumers get a better sense of what an item looks like. It’s important to note that Samat says that becoming a retailer is not the right move “right now,” which leaves Google open to becoming one further down the road.
Online spending during the week ending on December 2nd totalled nearly $6 billion according to comScore, setting a new single-week record. The market research firm on Sunday released its estimates for online spending so far during the holiday shopping season, and it is reporting significant year-on-year increases across the board. Total spending between November 1st and December 2nd is up 15% over 2010 to $18.7 billion and Cyber Week spending also grew 15% to approximately $6 billion. Online shopping on Thanksgiving day grew 18% to $479 million, Black Friday sales online were up 26% to $816 million and Cyber Monday sales grew 22% to $1.3 billion. “Cyber Monday kicked the week off with a bang as consumers opened their wallets to the tune of $1.25 billion, but it was only the beginning of a very strong week of online holiday spending,” comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. “Tuesday and Wednesday followed with billion dollar spending days, helping Cyber Week reach a record weekly total of nearly $6 billion in spending.” ComScore’s full press release follows below. More →
The advent of online shopping changed the retail industry forever, but many consumers are still not willing to shop for consumer electronics online despite potential cost savings. New data from market research firm The NPD Group shows that while nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers use the Internet to research consumer electronics purchases, only about half go on to purchase electronics online. “It’s not surprising to see that so many consumers won’t buy TVs, smartphones, and other popular CE products online, despite using the Internet to perform basic product research,” said NPD analyst Stephen Baker in a statement. “Computers and other IT products have a much longer history online with a wider variety of outlets, including direct sales from manufacturers, for consumers to choose from.” The firm found that computers and computer software where the most popular online purchases for consumers, with 34% of NPD’s 1,326-person study saying they would make such purchases online. Televisions were the least likely online electronics purchases, with only 19% of respondents saying they would buy a TV online. The NPD Group’s full press release follows below. More →
SpendingPulse, a MasterCard Advisors service that monitors national retail and services sales, has an early Christmas gift for all of us this year. According to tallies of MasterCard payments along with survey-based estimates for other forms of payment, MasterCard Services estimates that online spending this holiday season hit $36.4 billion in the U.S. The massive number represents a 15.4% increase compared to the holiday season in 2009. “Today eCommerce accounts for a much larger share of overall retail sales compared to a few years ago. And during this holiday season, it registered double digit growth for 6 out of 7 weeks,” said Michael McNamara, VP for MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, in a statement. Daily online spending in the U.S. topped $1 billion six times during the holiday shopping season this year, compared to three times in 2009. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
In a note to investors Monday, JP Morgan analyst Imran Khan wrote that online shopping during the holiday season is up 22% so far this year compared to the same period in 2009. Khan cites a Chase Paymentech survey of 50 online retailers as his source. Online shopping during the same period in 2009 was up 15% compared to 2008, so this year’s positive trend is good news for Amazon.com and other popular online retailers. Khan also noted that the heaviest days for online holiday shopping have historically been December 15th through the 21st. More →
Rather than take Google head on in the search wars which given Google’s dominance is probably an impossible feat, Microsoft is honing in on Google’s weaknesses instead. This strategy is apparent in its latest acquisition announced Sunday in which Microsoft purchased Greenfield Online, owner of Europe’s largest shopping price comparison website ciao.com, for a cool $486 million. Ciao.com provides online product price comparisons and user submitted reviews. Users are encouraged to write reviews by paying them a small amount for each positive comment received. That’s cool. Microsoft intends to expand this program by offering a cash back program for all users who purchase products through the site, not just US users who have been demoing this new feature for the past few months. Even cooler. Active in seven European countries, it receives 19.6 million unique visitors per month in Europe. Though hardly the purchase to finally propel Microsoft over Google, it may help Microsoft increase its market share, especially in Europe where it garners a pitiful 2%.