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Savvy Shoppers Drive Robust Online Holiday Sales

Online holiday shopping will account for nearly a quarter of retail ecommerce sales for 2012

NEW YORK, NY (September 14, 2012)—Despite an economy that continues to be tough for many consumers, another strong US online holiday shopping season is taking shape, finds a new report from eMarketer. Consumers will turn to the internet to stay within their budgets, locate hard-to-find gifts and avoid crowded stores.

The new report, “Online Holiday Shopping Forecast and Trends,” analyzes findings from dozens of third-party research providers and interviews with industry executives, answering key questions including:

  • What is the sales outlook for the 2012 online holiday shopping season?
  • How are shoppers and retailers extending the online holiday shopping season?
  • What percentage of online holiday shoppers researches purchases online before buying in-store?

US retail ecommerce holiday sales (excluding travel) will reach $54.5 billion in 2012, up 16.8% over last year, according to eMarketer estimates.

This will be the fourth consecutive year that online holiday sales (defined as sales in November and December) post annual growth in the mid-to-high teens, after plummeting 8.2% in 2008 during the depths of the Great Recession.

Overall ecommerce retail sales for the year will be disproportionately influenced by the holiday season. eMarketer expects online holiday sales to account for nearly a quarter (24.3%) of the $224.2 billion in US retail ecommerce sales forecast for all of 2012.

“To reach price-driven and less loyal consumers during the peak season, retailers are offering limited-time branded sales events, in addition to event days like Cyber Monday,” said eMarketer. “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.”

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Media Contact:
Clark Fredricksen
Vice President, Communications, eMarketer
Tel. 212-763-6056

Posted on September 14, 2012.