Cyber Week Approaches $6 Billion in U.S. Sales

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ADOTAS – It’s official, according to ComScore: Last week generated record numbers for online retail for the U.S., with online sales grossing nearly $6 billion. Cyber Monday, Nov. 28, scored $1.25 billion in sales by itself, making it not only the cyberest of all Mondays but the highest-grossing single day ever for online retail. But shoppers kept the heat up throughout the week, spending $1.12 billion on Tuesday and $1.03 billion on Wednesday. In other words, that three-day stretch last week gave us the second through the fourth billion-dollar-plus shopping days in the history of U.S. online retail (the first was Cyber Monday 2010). The total for Monday through Friday, Dec. 2 came to $5.96 billion — not quite reaching the $6 billion mark, but certainly close enough. That’s a 15 percent increase from the same week in 2010, and it’s consistent with this year’s growth in online retail for the 32-day span of Nov. 1 through Dec. 2: also up 15 percent from last year, topping off at $18.7 billion.

ComScore’s report emphasizes the role played by free shipping offers this year: 63.2 percent of last week’s online purchases came with free shipping, up 11 percent from last year’s figure. ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a press release detailing the study’s results that today’s customers don’t just seek out free shipping during this crucial week, they flat-out expect it. “In fact, more than three-quarters of consumers say that free shipping is important to them when making an online purchase,” Fulgoni said, “and nearly half say they will abandon their shopping cart at checkout if they find free shipping is not being offered.” That’s something to keep in mind as Free Shipping Day — Fri., Dec. 16 — comes up on us.

Do these stats represent your own experiences? With the U.S. economy still more or less in a ditch, do you find you’re spending more this year than last year? And if you are, how is this year different?

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