Holiday online sales remain strong

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Online retailers continued to post big holiday sales numbers last week, with a jumpstart from a record-setting Cyber Monday, according to data released Wednesday.

So far, more than $17.5 billion has been spent online in the first 35 days of the holiday shopping season through Dec. 5, a 12% increase over the same time last year, according to comScore, an online analytics firm.

For the week starting with Cyber Monday, four separate days topped $800 million in aggregate sales for online retailers.

Shoppers kicked off the week by spending $1.03 billion on Cyber Monday, which became the heaviest online spending day on record. That was followed by $911 million on Tuesday, $868 million on Wednesday and $850 million on Thursday.

Overall, sales for the week ended Dec. 5 were up 9% from the year-earlier period -- a little below the rate of growth for other parts of the season.

"We anticipated that the post-Cyber Monday period would experience a slight hangover after many of the retailers' most aggressive deals and promotions expired," comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement.

Promotions such as free shipping increased in popularity this year, with each of the most recent three weeks seeing more than 50% of all transactions including the incentive.

"Without a doubt, free shipping has become a critical driver of e-commerce purchasing, with the majority of consumers indicating that they will abandon their shopping carts if they get to check-out and find that free shipping is not included," Fulgoni said.

Online retailers might have even more to anticipate. Fulgoni said he expects to see activity continue to pick up in the middle of December, when online buying typically peaks. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,390.52 195.10 1.13%
Nasdaq 4,630.74 64.60 1.41%
S&P 500 2,018.05 23.40 1.17%
Treasuries 2.34 0.03 1.30%
Data as of 6:09pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.16 0.13 0.76%
Intel Corp 34.01 1.43 4.39%
Apple Inc 108.00 1.02 0.95%
Facebook Inc 74.99 0.88 1.19%
General Electric Co 25.81 0.14 0.55%
Data as of 4:05pm ET

Sections

AT&T adds two new 'value plans' with more data in response to similar deals from rival carriers. More

When it comes to Internet speeds, the U.S. lags behind much of the developed world. More

Instead of flocking to sunny beach havens or downsizing to a condo in the city during their retirement years, a majority of Baby Boomers say they're just going to stay put in their current home. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.