Online Christmas shopping significantly rose in 2003 compared with 2002, according to preliminary figures from market researcher and consultancy comScore Networks.
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Christmas online retail spending, excluding travel and auctions, reached $12.5bn in 2003, up 29.5% over 2002, according to comScore, which defines the Christmas shopping season as the period between 1 November and 31 December. ComScore had expected an increase of between 25% and 30%.
For the full year, online retail spending, excluding travel and auctions, grew 22% over 2002 to $52bn. Including travel, the total was $93bn, up 27% from 2002.
According to comScore analyst Graham Mudd, the increase can be attributed to several factors:
- new online buyers, expanding the base of shoppers from last year;
- increased spending from existing online buyers, who get more comfortable shopping with online experience;
- easier and more secure shopping experiences as merchants improved their websites;
- and a growth in broadband subscribers, who are more likely to buy online than their dial-up counterparts.
Online travel was a particularly shining segment, with sales growing 35% on 2002, according to comScore.
The comScore figures are extrapolated from actual sales data captured from the buying activity of over 1.5 million consumers worldwide at more than 50,000 US-based online shopping sites. The consumers agreed to let comScore track their online browsing and buying activity.
Juan Carlos Perez writes for IDG News Service