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Online holiday sales to reach $31 billion this year

Nov. 16, 2007

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This year, some economic forecasters are predicting doom and gloom for the all-important 2007 Christmas shopping season. However, eMarketer predicts that Internet holiday sales could reach $31 billion in 2007, up 18.5 percent when compared to 2006.

Jeff Grau, eMarketer analyst and author of the new report Online Holiday Shopping says "it’s true that 2007’s growth rate will be lower than 2006’s growth rate of almost 25 percent. However, it's superior to the low single-digit growth rate forecast for the overall retail industry this holiday season.”

Overall, Internet sales for the holiday season this year will account for approximately 23 percent of annual retail eCommerce sales, or roughly the same as 2006.

Grau added that “there are several reasons for the continued strength of online sales growth. One we've noticed is that many online shoppers are shopping much earlier.”

About half of online consumers responding to an survey conducted six months ago indicated that in 2007 they would start shopping for holiday gifts in September or October.

Grau added that “online buyers are also shopping later in the holiday season.

In 2006 there was a 45 percent spending surge in the week before Christmas, according to comScore Networks.

By far, early birds and the usual procrastinators mark the bookends of the holiday shopping season, but the most intensive online holiday shopping days still fall in between.

“Overall, online consumers will continue to shift more of their holiday gift spending from physical stores to Web sites this year. This will insulate retail eCommerce from the economic jitters expected to dampen retail industry sales during the critical months of November and December,” said Grau.

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Source: eMarketer

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