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Online Holiday Spending to Reach $54B

U.S. e-commerce growth increasingly tied to Christmas season, researcher says.

With more and more consumers doing their holiday shopping online, the state of e-commerce retail is growing increasingly dependent on how much joy is spread at the holidays.

And this year’s holiday season is shaping up to be a jolly one. According to researcher eMarketer, U.S. online holiday spending, not including travel, is expected to reach $54.47 billion, up 16.8 percent from last year.

The research firm reports that online holiday spending this year will account for nearly a quarter—or about 24.3 percent—of online retail in the U.S. Major shopping “event days,” such as Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day, are influencing more shoppers to make their holiday purchases online, as retailers seek to “reach price-driven and less loyal consumers during the peak season,” eMarketer notes.

“Large discounts can generate word of mouth on social networks, and retailers can stoke this excitement by promoting these events, and even offer exclusives, to their fans via Facebook and Twitter,” the researcher adds.

Holiday sales—that is, sales in November and December—have increased 16.5 percent or more each year since 2008, when online holiday spending experienced an 8.2-percent decline. In 2011, online holiday spending in the U.S. reached $46.63 billion, up 16.5 percent over 2010, according to eMarketer.

eMarketer's Online Holiday Sales Forecast

About the author

Crista Souza
Crista Souza is founding editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. A journalism graduate of San Jose State University, she spent 13 years as a business and technology reporter in Silicon Valley. Crista has been writing about B2C and C2C ecommerce since 2008. Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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