As the dollar figures pour in and the numbers are tabulated and with business analysts predicting a record breaking online holiday shopping season, it appears the projections were right on target.
Although the final holiday shopping sales figures aren't in yet, preliminary reports from a wide spectrum of sources point to online sales that have met expectations and will make e-tailers, large and small, very satisfied with the results.
According to comScore, the latest "2005 Online Holiday Shopping Update" reflects that non-travel spending for the first 46 days of the holiday season (November 1-December 16) totaled 15.86 billion dollars. This represents a 23% increase over the same period in 2004. In addition, comScore estimates that U.S. Internet sales will exceed 19 billion dollars (excluding travel) for the holiday season, an increase of 24% above 2004 sales figures.
What were the best selling days during this online shopping period? What were the sales for the highly anticipated "Black Monday"?
The results are in and surprisingly, Monday, November 28 (Black Monday) ranked ninth in a listing of the top ten non-travel online holiday shopping spending days among U.S. home, work and university Internet users for the holiday shopping period of November 1-December 16, 2005, with online sales estimated at 484 million dollars.
The top selling day? So far, that distinction goes to Monday, December 12, 2005, with total sales of 556 million dollars. A close second was Tuesday, December 13, 2005, with sales of 554 million dollars and astonishingly these two days combined topped 1.1 billion dollars in online retail sales.
Furthermore, according to the latest "Holiday eSpending Report", (released by Goldman Sachs, Nielsen/Net Ratings and Harris Interactive), it is estimated that online shoppers spent 18.6 billion dollars during the first six weeks of the 2005 holiday season (October 29-December 9), a 16% increase for U.S. online spending compared to the same period in 2004.
To summarize, these preliminary reports offer a positive outlook for e-tailers as the e-commerce industry continues to evolve and prosper. Internet users are taking advantage of new web sites, specialty sites and shops, virtual online shopping malls, niche marketing and the holiday sales figures reflect this phenomenon.