Online Xmas shopping rises in 2003


Online Xmas shopping rises in 2003

Online Christmas shopping significantly rose in 2003 compared with 2002, according to preliminary figures from market researcher and consultancy comScore Networks.

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

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