Online Holiday Sales Up 15%

By: Ann M. Mack

(Adweek IQ) Americans shelled out $13.8 billion online during the holiday shopping season, according to a report released Monday from Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive, and Nielsen/NetRatings.

That is a 15% increase over last year, which recorded $12 billion in online sales during the eight weeks in November and December 2000.

Meanwhile, 86% of shoppers surveyed said they were satisfied with customer service online this holiday season, a major complaint in years’ past. Twenty-four percent cited a better experience compared to last year.

More than $9 billion, or 65% of the season’s total e-spending, was spent online during the last two weeks in November and the first two weeks in December. The first week in December marked the height of the online shopping season, as one in five Internet users made a purchase online to reach nearly $2.6 billion in sales.

“Unlike traditional retailers who have the luxury of time and are able to sell to shoppers until the very last minute, e-commerce sites must move their products within a much shorter shopping season,” said Lori Iventosch-James, director of e-commerce research at Harris Interactive. “The steady stream of special sales and free shipping offers during the peak online shopping weeks attracted consumers and helped e-tailers achieve higher revenue growth.”

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