A combination of growing consumer confidence, extensive promotion and competitive pricing will result in healthy holiday sales, comScore predicts.
comScore is expecting a 17 percent growth in the U.S. this holiday season to $43 billion, up slightly from the 15 percent increase in 2011 during November and December.
Online spending for the first 18 days of November has spiked 16 percent to $10 billion — a surge of 16 percent from the same period in 2011. As of Nov. 22, Nov. 8 was the biggest online spending day so far this season with shoppers shelling out $829 million.
“The 2012 online holiday shopping season is off to an encouraging start with a 16-percent growth thus far,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni in a statement. “Recent five-year highs in consumer confidence and early retailer promotions appear to be serving as wind in the sails for the beginning portion of the holiday season, with consumers opening up their wallets early and often. This spending growth also reflects the continuing channel shift to online as consumers increasingly opt for the attractive pricing, convenience and product selection it offers.”
The informal kick off of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday, falls two days earlier this year — and retailers are expecting a larger profit courtesy of the extended timeline.
“The strength leading up to and during the holiday season-to-date, in addition to a maximum 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, provide the basis for what we view as a fairly optimistic outlook for the 2012 online holiday shopping season,” added Fulgoni. “Accounting for these factors, comScore forecasts a healthy 17-percent growth rate to $43.4 billion in online spending for the months of November and December. This would put an exclamation point on what has already been a strong year for retail e-commerce.”
The consumer confidence index from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan appears to back comScore’s findings, indicating a more optimistic outlook on the economy this month, growing to 84.9 percent from 82.6 percent last year.
Gartner is forecasting 51 percent of consumers will shop online during the holidays.