Shoppers spent nearly a third more online this holiday season than last, looking for deals on clothing, computer equipment and electronics, according to an e-spending report released last week.
Holiday shoppers spent $30.1 billion online excluding travel, up 30 percent from the 2004 holiday season, according to the eSpending Report conducted by Goldman Sachs & Co., Nielsen/NetRatings and Harris Interactive Inc.
The largest increases came from clothing and apparel ($5.3 billion, up 42 percent from 2004), computer hardware and peripherals ($4.8 billion, up 126 percent), and consumer electronics ($4.6 billion, up 109 percent). Online sales of toys, including video games, dropped 9 percent to $2.3 billion. A lack of “must have” toys this holiday season depressed online toy sales, according to the report. Online sales continued growing quickly because consumers increased trust in Internet security, dependable delivery, lower prices, and convenience, according to the report.
Online sales accounted for 27 percent of all holiday shopping, up from 22 percent in 2004, according to the report. Sales at traditional brick-and-mortar stores dropped to 68 percent of total holiday sales, down from 72 percent in 2004, and catalogue sales dropped to 5 percent in 2005 from 6 percent in 2004. To boost in-store sales, some department stores are relying on information technology to reach out to customers and to better ,manage inventories. (See “Season on the Brink,”)
By Allan Holmes