Researchers Differ On This Year's Online Holiday Sales Growth - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Researchers Differ On This Year's Online Holiday Sales Growth

ComScore predicts holiday shoppers will spend 20% more online than last year, but Nielsen forecasts flat online spending.

Research firm ComScore predicts holiday shoppers will spend 20% more online than last year, but another research firm isn't so sure.

ComScore on Tuesday released the first in a series of twice weekly holiday season e-commerce updates, saying that the first 18 days of the holiday season saw more than $7 billion in online retail spending, a 17% increase from the same period a year ago.

Sales in the first week of November were up modestly from a year ago, but surged to levels in excess of 20% by mid-November, ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. "It's likely that warmer than average weather at the beginning of November kept people outdoors and away from their computers, weighing down early holiday season sales, especially for key online categories like apparel."

ComScore, which defines the holiday season as the months of November and December, said sales during the second and third weeks of November are likely to be better indicators of how the remainder of the season will play out. The researcher also released its official forecast for holiday spending, projecting that online shoppers would spend 20% more than last year, or $29.5 billion.

Research firm Nielsen, however, was less optimistic. In a survey of nearly 1,000 shoppers, the company found that their online spending would compose about the same share of their total holiday budgets as in 2006. The largest group, 35%, said they would spend between 25% and 50% of their shopping budget online. A third expected to spend less than 25%.

"The fact that consumers expect to allocate the same share of what may be a shrinking overall holiday budget to the Web, suggests that online sales growth may not live up to the 20% annual growth rates we have seen in years past," Ken Cassar, VP of industry solutions analytics for Nielsen Online, said in a statement.

The Nielsen survey also found that convenience, not price, was the primary appeal for shopping online. More than eight in 10 respondents said the ability to shop anytime in the day was why they chose online shopping. Saving time was the next most popular reason, followed by comparison shopping and finding things easily.

Only 46% listed low prices as a reason to shop online, and even fewer respondents, 24%, cited low shipping costs.

For the 10 months leading up to the holiday season, shoppers spent $93.6 billion online, a 21% increase over last year, ComScore said.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
2021 State of ITOps and SecOps Report
This new report from InformationWeek explores what we've learned over the past year, critical trends around ITOps and SecOps, and where leaders are focusing their time and efforts to support a growing digital economy. Download it today!
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Why IT Leaders Should Make Cloud Training a Top Priority
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/14/2021
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
Lessons I've Learned From My Career in Technology
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/4/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll