The final holiday season tally is in from comScore. The positive? Desktop e-commerce spending set a new peak of $46.5 billion. The negative? That fell short of comScore’s expectations of $48.1 billion. While some key dates such as Black Friday (15%) and Cyber Monday (18%) saw solid year-over-year gains in spending, the final total represented a more modest 10% increase, below comScore’s forecast of 14% growth. The growth rate indicated by comScore is roughly the same as what IBM saw for online sales during Q4 as a whole (10.3%).
The relatively tepid increase in desktop e-commerce sales this holiday season was mainly attributed by comScore to the shortened season; while consumers appeared to shop more on the weekend this year, those increases couldn’t offset the fewer workdays. The sizable discounts offered by retailers were also blamed in part for the softer dollar sales growth.
The data indicates that this year’s fastest-growing product categories were:
- Apparel and accessories (13%);
- Consumer electronics – boosted by smartphone sales (13%);
- Computer hardware – boosted by tablet sales (13%);
- Toys and hobbies (13%); and
- Video game consoles and accessories (12%).
Cyber Monday once again ranked as the heaviest e-commerce spending day of the season. Total sales from desktop devices totaled $1.735 billion; including mobile devices, sales exceeded $2 billion for the first time on record.