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Holiday e-commerce expected to reach $61 billion

November 19, 2014

E-commerce sales are expected to reach $61 billion this year, much higher than previously estimated by other researchers.

E-commerce sales are expected to reach $61 billion this year, much higher than previously estimated by researchers.

Retail spending to to reach $61 billion in November and December
According to research by ComScore, retail spending will rise by 16 percent this holiday season, reported Fortune. U.S. consumers have become more comfortable with e-commerce and frequently use mobile devices to make purchases. This confidence in online purchasing will give sales figures a significant boost.

According to the news source, ComScore expects holiday e-commerce to reach $61 billion in November and December. Computer-based purchases are expected to grow by 14 percent, while mobile-based shopping – m-commerce – is expected to grow by 25 percent. Mobile devices may end up representing approximately one-eighth of total e-commerce spending. Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman at ComScore, commented that according to recent trends, consumers are ready to spend.

“The recent trends we’ve seen in online consumer spending suggest that American consumers are ready to open their wallets,” said Fulgoni, according to Fortune.

Large retailers with brick-and-mortar stores have been preparing their online catalogs in anticipation of the a strong e-commerce season. Target, JC Penney and Macy’s have all introduced new apps and customized their websites to entice customers. These initiatives are intended to help their physical stores make more sales – many consumers today browse products online, but make final purchases in-store. 

The United Parcel Service is also currently hiring additional workers to help handle the expected rise in package volume, reported the news source.

Research varies on e-commerce growth, but all are positive
ComScore’s forecast is ahead of the one by the National Retail Federation, which estimates a rise of 11 percent in e-commerce sales. The variance between the two research reports is significant. The NRF also expects sales at brick-and-mortar stores to grow by 4.1 percent this holiday season, according to the news source.

Internet Retailer indicated that ComScore’s forecasts are more optimistic than those by Adobe and Forrester Research as well. Adobe predicts e-commerce sales growth of 10 percent for November and December, while Forrester Research forecasted a 13 percent increase in sales for the same period. Given that Comscore’s report was published later than the others, and is based on consumer trends online, perhaps the optimism is warranted.

How shoppers will make purchases 
Nielsen also released holiday forecasts recently, estimating that 55 percent of shoppers intend to make purchases on Cyber Monday, while 52 percent of consumers intend to shop on Black Friday, reported Internet Retailer.

Nielsen compiled its research from retailer web sites, Cyber Monday deal web sites and emails. According to their report, 39 percent of shoppers will look for deals on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, while 33 percent of shoppers intend to use newspapers. Laptops were listed as the most popular device for making purchases, followed by smartphones. Interestingly, men tended to favor mobile devices for making purchases more than women, reported the news source. 

Despite variance, consensus is sales will be strong 
While variances exist between the various research reports forecasting e-commerce sales this holiday season, they all agree that compared to last year, a rise of at least 10 percent will occur. Cyber Monday and Black Friday are expected to be see more e-commerce sales than ever previously recorded. Retailers are rolling out their special deals to lure customers, and consumers are preparing to spend a significant portion of their hard-earned cash. Overall, the economy should get a nice boost to see it through to the new year.

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