02:36 PM

Online Shopping Report: Sales Up 24% In 2006

Online spending during the 12-day holiday period leading up to Christmas totaled $24.6 billion, according to comScore.

Online shoppers procrastinated until the final days of the recent holiday season, driving retail purchases to a 45% gain in a grand finale week of purchasing, according to a report released by online traffic tabulator comScore Networks. E-commerce spending for the entire year totaled $102 billion, an increase of 24%.

E-commerce spending peaked in 12 days of holiday spending, comScore said, noting that online purchasing gradually gathered momentum after Cyber Monday, Nov. 27, when $607.6 million was spent. Online spending during the 12-day holiday period leading up to Christmas totaled $24.6 billion, the market research firm said in a report released Wednesday.

"The online holiday shopping season of course played a vital role in the year's success as spending accelerated during the final two months of the year," said Gian Fulgoni, comScore's chairman, in a statement. The firm tracks online spending exclusive of travel, auction, and large corporate activity.

ComScore observed that online shoppers carried out their holiday buying later in 2006 than usual with a three-week surge—up 31% over the previous year—at the end of the holiday season. The final week leading up to Christmas was the high point with a 45% increase recorded over the previous year's numbers.

ComScore said the surge of buying at the end of the holiday season indicated that online shoppers showed confidence that retailers would be able to deliver orders in time for their holiday.

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