Online holiday shopping continues growth pattern


Shopping / Christmas / HolidayYou’d have to be living under a rock to miss the fact that a lot more holiday gift-buying is taking place in the virtual rather than the brick and mortar world – and now the latest report from comScore tells us just how much more.

Overall online spending grew 14% to $42.3B, and a pair of special days showed enormous growth. Free Shipping Day (12/17) was up 76% to $1.013B and Christmas Day (12/25) was up 36% to $288M.

According to comScore, had Congress not spent the month of December skating on the edge of the fiscal cliff, results might have been even better.

“The 2012 online holiday season was once again a very strong season with growth rates in the mid-teens as we reached record-setting spending levels,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “This year’s growth rate is essentially on a par with last year’s. But despite many positives for the online sector, this year’s season did not quite perform up to our initial expectation for growth rates in excess of 16 percent as we fell a billion dollars short of our expected total of $43.4 billion. While November started out at a very healthy 16-percent growth rate through the promotional period of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers almost immediately pulled back on spending, apparently due to concerns over the looming fiscal cliff and what that might mean for their household budgets in 2013. With Congress deadlocked throughout December, growth rates softened even further and never quite made up enough ground to reach our original expectation.”
Here are results for the full 2012 holiday shopping season beginning 11/1/12.

Period 2011 2012 Chng
Nov 1-Dec 31 $37,170 $42,286 14%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov 22) $479 $633 32%
Black Friday (Nov 23) $816 $1,042 28%
Tgvg Weekend (Nov 24-25) $1,031 $1,187 15%
Cyber Monday (Nov 26) $1,251 $1,465 17%
Green Monday (Dec 10) $1,133 $1,275 13%
Free Ship Day (Dec 17) $575 $1,013 76%
Christmas (Dec 25) $212 $286 36%
Source: comScore      

RBR-TVBR observation: We have to keep emphasizing the importance of incorporating new digital platforms into your business model in every way possible. Use it to provide entertainment and a sense of community with your audience; use it to enhance your value to your clients, even to directly sell their products and services; make sure your clients know to incorporate digital elements into their messaging; think of dozens of more ways to use digital.

Don’t believe us? Consider the fact that you are reading these words in a digital format. RBR-TVBR long ago had to adjust to the fact that our days of tree-killing are over because nobody wants the news on paper and distributed via snail mail any longer – it’s too slow and too inconvenient.

And that, dear reader, by definition, includes you.

Digital is clearly where business is going – and the only thing stopping you from doing everything possible to be there waiting for it is you.