eMarketer: Online Holiday Sales to Increase 18.5 Percent Over Last Year
Online holiday season sales will reach $31 billion this year, up 18.5 percent over last year.
That according to according to Internet market research firm eMarketer, which defines online holiday season sales as all online retail spending during the months of November and December, including purchases related and unrelated to the holidays.
While this is a drop-off from last year's growth rate of 25 percent, it is far superior to the low, single-digit growth rate forecast for the overall retail industry this holiday season, eMarketer says.
Online sales today are driven by the increased spending of existing online buyers, according to eMarketer. These "seasoned" online buyers have gained confidence in e-commerce. They shop with unfamiliar Web retailers in order to get unusual gifts, and they shop later into the holiday season because they trust that retailers will meet their delivery guarantees. These shoppers also visit a wider variety of sites to research products, find the best deals and get gift ideas from their peers. Even in-store holiday buyers go online first to learn about products and compare alternatives.