December 15 saw a record-breaking $913 million (€636.9 million) spent online in the US this year, making it the heaviest spending day of the year according to online retail analyst comScore.
Data released over the weekend of December 21 shows that $24.8 billion (€17.3 billion) has been spent online this holiday season (November 1 to December 18), a four percent increase on the same period in 2008. Tuesday, December 15 was the first date to surpass the $900 million (€627.8 million) mark, beating November 30 (Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday which sees many online stores offering special deals), December 14 and December 17, traditionally thought to be the high-spending days because of coinciding holidays or shipping cut-off dates. Analysts now expect online sales to subside in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.
Consumers ordering online spent an average of $117 (€81) for the two weeks running up to December 6, up from an average of $111 (€77) for the same weeks in 2008. Free shipping has also been key for consumers this year, a fact seemingly embraced by retailers - 47 percent of holiday season orders this year included free shipping versus 40 percent in 2008.
Despite positive growth in online retail sales, the US National Retail Federation is predicting an overall one percent drop in holiday sales for both online and traditional "bricks and mortar" stores. Overall, it is predicted that consumers will spend $437.6 billion (€305 billion), with a 3 percent decline in the number of purchases using credit cards.
Ten heaviest US online retail spending days of 2009
Data from comScore
1 Tuesday, Dec.15 - $913 million
2 Monday, Nov. 30, 2009 (Cyber Monday) - $887 million
3 Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009 - $886 million
4 Wednesday, Dec. 16 - $874 million
5 Monday, Dec. 14, 2009 - $854 million
6 Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 - $852 million
7 Tuesday, Dec. 8 - $828 million
8 Thursday, Dec. 17 - $809 million
9 Thursday, Dec. 3 - $809 million
10 Wednesday, Dec. 2 - $797 million