Desktop spending returned to double-digit growth during the holiday season after just missing the mark in 2013.
This story first appeared in the January 8, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Digital monitoring service comScore Inc. reported Wednesday that online desktop sales grew 14.5 percent to $53.31 billion during the holiday season, easily topping the 9.9 percent increase seen in 2013.
Cyber Monday remained the top day for purchasing via a desktop with a 17.5 percent increase to $2.04 billion, marking the first time that desktop spending exceeded $2 billion. In total, there were 15 days in which desktop spending topped the $1 billion mark, up from a total of 10 during the 2013 holiday season. Dec. 2, the day following Cyber Monday, was the second-heaviest, with sales of $1.8 billion, followed by Green Monday, Dec. 8, at $1.62 billion, and Black Friday, Nov. 28, at $1.51 billion.
The Thanksgiving Day-Black Friday combination, a topic of substantial debate among those focused on brick-and-mortar retailing, produced outstanding results online. Black Friday sales were up 25.6 percent, according to comScore, while Thanksgiving Day generated $1.01 billion in desktop sales, a 31.7 percent increase. The two-day total of $2.51 billion was 28 percent higher than in the prior year.
Last month, ShopperTrak estimated that brick-and-mortar sales for the two days totaled $12.29 billion, down 0.5 percent from their 2013 level, as Thanksgiving Day sales rose 23.4 percent to $3.19 billion and Black Friday sales dropped 6.9 percent to $9.1 billion.
Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman emeritus of comScore, said, “Despite a shortened holiday calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas and erroneous reports of flagging holiday sales, the American consumer proved resilient and flexed their spending muscle online this year.”
The mention of “erroneous reports” was an apparent reference to the National Retail Federation’s initial report that sales during Thanksgiving weekend dropped 11 percent.
As in previous years, online spending peaked during the sixth week of the holiday season and decelerated after.
ComScore had previously reported a 15 percent increase in online sales, to $48.27 billion, between Nov. 1 and Dec. 21. Applying the most recent data to those previously provided, sales between Dec. 22 and Dec. 31 rose 10.1 percent to $5.04 billion.