Shopping 29 Dec 2006 07:00 pm

Online Sales Grow this Christmas

by Sean Hackbarth

"Online Sales Up" with snowman

Lots of people this Christmas shopped with their mice boosting online sales:

Online retailers rang up $23.11 billion in holiday sales so far this year, a 26 percent increase over 2005, according to data released Thursday by comScore Networks.

U.S. Web spending during the work week before Christmas grew 38 percent to $2.25 billion from last year. Holiday shopping as measured by the Reston, Va.-based research group doesn’t include travel, auctions, or large corporate purchases.

The brisk last-minute gift business prompted comScore to raise its forecast for the full year by $100 million to $24.7 billion, 26 percent above 2005.

Amazon.com (AMZN) was the big winner. But Chris at the Varien eCommerce Blog notes, “brick-and-mortars are making a strong charge” with Wal-Mart’s, Ticketmaster’s, and Best Buy’s online divisions growing 50%.

Amazon.com’s biggest sellers included iPods, Jim Collins’ business bestseller Good to Great, Senseo Douwe Egberts Dark Roast Coffee Pods, and Levi’s 501 jeans.

Gian Fulgoni, comScore’s chairman, said, “Consumers making purchases in those final days expressed both their faith in retailers ability to pick and pack their orders in a timely fashion and shippers ability to drop them on recipients doorsteps in time for Christmas.” Not in all cases. Amazon.com lost one customer for not shipping gifts in time. The good news about Christmas sales won’t help Amazon.com’s stock price for 2006.

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