The numbers are in according to one tracking firm, comScore, which tell us just how good, bad or indifferent this past holiday season was from an online perspective. With a 4 % increase over last year I wouldn’t say good or bad and maybe not even indifferent. How about we’ll just take it because let’s face it, the economy still sucks.
The data covers the entire November through December time frame. There were some contributing factors that lent to the overall numbers being in the black. Here are some comScore observations.
“The 2009 online holiday shopping season was a positive one as its growth rate slightly surpassed our forecast and returned to solidly positive rates after nearly a full year of marginally negative growth,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Among the highlights of the season was the first $900 million online spending day and a strong late season spending surge, propelled by effective retailer promotions, guaranteed shipping and a major snowstorm on the eastern seaboard that convinced many to shop from the comfort of home. It’s possible that this better-than-expected end-of-year performance is a harbinger of renewed vigor and optimism for 2010 as the consumer economy seeks to rebound from one of the worst years in memory. At the same time, we need to remember that consumers’ spending power remains constrained by high unemployment levels, substantial debt and a new-found desire to save.”
Drat that new-found desire to save! Wonder if the government is catching on yet but I digress. The chart below shows just how consumers were willing to wait longer to make their purchases. That may be attributed to waiting to see if any deals would show up or just that people waited to make sure they could afford to actually buy things.
There were a few categories that made significant gains over last year’s really crappy results. Here’s a ‘look see’ at some of the top performers.
At this point in time I think anyone will breathe at least a small sigh of relief when any shopping numbers have a plus sign in front of them these days? What do you think?