2012 Trends: U.S. Holiday Spending Increasing Significantly

comscore 2012 Trends: U.S. Holiday Spending Increasing SignificantlyAnalyzing retail e-commerce spending for the first 32 days of the November–December 2012 holiday season, comScore found that $21.4 billion has been spent online, marking a 14-percent increase from last year. In the most recent week, three individual days surpassed $1 billion in spending. Cyber Monday became the heaviest online spending day totaling $1.46 billion. However, spend rates declined significantly after Cyber Monday and through the weekend.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni suggests:

“While Cyber Monday was a high point for holiday e-commerce spending and Cyber Week saw several strong spending days, there was a clear softening in the growth rate during the back half of the week. It is likely that, to some extent, holiday spending was pulled forward to the Thanksgiving-Black Friday period given the heightened promotional activity around that time. And some of the softening is a natural post-Cyber Monday lull that we often experience, an effect that may be somewhat more pronounced this year given the additional shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, as the urgency to finish one’s holiday shopping increases we expect to see growth rates pick up again in the next couple of weeks before Christmas.”

Various factors contribute to the current 14-percent growth rate. It appears that holiday spending has increased along with the number of buyers and their buying power. Buyers have increased by 9 percent (to 128.7 million) and average spending per buyer has risen 5 percent (to $165.90).

“The increase in spending per buyer is coming primarily from an increase in the number of transactions (up 4 percent to 2.19 per buyer) as opposed to the amount spent per transaction (up only 1 percent to $75.90).”

2012 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2011
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.



Millions ($)
2011 2012 Percent Change
November 1-December 2 $18,668 $21,350 14%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) $479 $633 32%
Black Friday (Nov. 23) $816 $1,042 28%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 24-25) $1,031 $1,187 15%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) $1,251 $1,465 17%
Cyber Week (Nov. 26-Nov. 30) $4,928 $5,462 11%

*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 3 thru December 4, 2011)

According to comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni the growth comes from an increase in both the number of buyers and the average spending per buyers. Already half of the online population has made a purchase this season – good news for the eCommerce sector.

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