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comScore: Desktop holiday spending up, final week down


Reston, Va. -- Holiday season U.S. retail e-commerce spending from desktop computers for the first 52 days of the November-December 2013 holiday season totaled $42.8 billion, an increase of 10% from the same period one year ago. However, new comScore data shows that the final online shopping week saw considerably softer sales than anticipated, including zero billion dollar spending days.

Looking at individual holiday shopping days that traditionally feature strong sales, comScore data indicates desktop sales on Thanksgiving Day rose 21% to $766 million and 15% on Black Friday to $1.2 billion. Desktop sales also climbed 18% on Cyber Monday (Dec. 2) to $1.73 billion and 10% on Green Monday to $1.4 billion. Cyber Monday had the largest one-day desktop sales total of the holiday season. The 2013 holiday season saw 10 days with more than $1 billion spending, but down from last year’s total of 12 individual days, reflecting the compressed calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas that featured six fewer days of online shopping.

For the holiday season-to-date, video game consoles & accessories ranked as the top-gaining product category from one year ago, followed by apparel & accessories, consumer electronics (bolstered by smartphone sales), computer hardware (bolstered by tablet sales), and home & garden.

“Strong momentum coming out of Thanksgiving, in addition to heavy weekend buying, suggested we would meet or exceed expectations as long as momentum continued through the final week before Christmas,” said Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore. “Unfortunately, the most recent week fell short of those expectations, and it looks like the final season growth rate will end up a few percentage points shy of what we had anticipated. In the end, I think we’ll look back at this online holiday season as one where absolute dollar sales gains in consumer spending were held back by heavy retailer price discounting that occurred in an attempt to stimulate consumer demand, while at the same time, consumers weren’t willing or able to increase their spending rate to fully compensate for the six-day shorter shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

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