U.S Online spending for the first 32 days of the hyped November-December holiday season surpassed the $21 billion mark by $400 million, increasing 14 percent from last year a time like this. These revelations come from a study conducted by leading analytics firm comScore. Over the recent weeks, online spending was noted to have risen dramatically, particularly so at the onset of Thanksgiving and continuing until Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday was found to have recorded the heaviest online spending day on record, with online retailers raking in a collective figure of $1.46 billion. During the Thanksgiving weekend and on Black Friday, online spending was also able to soar above the $1 billion mark. Nevertheless, online spending slackened at the wake of Cyber Monday and toward the end of November.

The chart below offers a clearer illustration and provides a comparative outlook based on last year’s performance.

2012 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2011
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Millions ($)
2011 2012 Percent Change
November 1-December 2 $18,668 $21,350 14%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22) $479 $633 32%
Black Friday (Nov. 23) $816 $1,042 28%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 24-25) $1,031 $1,187 15%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 26) $1,251 $1,465 17%
Cyber Week (Nov. 26-Nov. 30) $4,928 $5,462 11%

Source: comScore

Gian Fulgoni, the chairperson at comScore, attempted to provide an explanation for the softened spending at the wake of Cyber Monday. “It is likely that, to some extent, holiday spending was pulled forward to the Thanksgiving-Black Friday period, given the heightened promotional activity around that time,” he noted. In addition, Fulgoni remarked that the softening was partly attributable to the natural post-Cyber Monday lull that has become common place in the contemporary consumer world.

Holiday spending fueled by growth in the number of buyers and spending per buyer

As of the moment, the number of buyers is up 9 percent to 128.7 million. The average spending per buyer has also increased 5 percent to $165.90. These components have been key contributory factors to the 14 percent growth in online spending this far.

Based on historical data from comScore, it is clearly evident that online holiday retail sales have been on a steady upward trajectory over the past four years. What’s even more interesting is the fact that dramatic increases in online spending were first noted at the onset of 2010.

The chart below offers a deeper insight on the same.

Source: comScore