The trend in online retail sales since November 1 indicate that the sector is showing an upside of about 15 percent, according to a study by comScore. The number of e-commerce visitors and buyers is increasing over the years, and this could be seen by the Cyber Monday sales witnessed during the last five years. In the latest Cyber Monday period, online sales recorded 22 percent growth to touch $1.25 billion, up from $1.03 billion in the previous year.
34-Days Online Sales
The e-commerce sector witnessed an increase of 15 percent to post sales of close to $20 billion for the 34-days period ended December 4, up from $17 billion in the year-ago period. Undoubtedly, Cyber Monday was the single largest sales day, while the Thanksgiving weekend recorded online sales of $1.03 billion, up from $886 million in the previous year. For the week ended December 4, online retail sales grew 15 percent to $5.8 billion from $5.03 billion in the year-earlier period.
The significant point of the comScore survey is that dollars spent per buyer increased 12 percent to $164 during the 34-day period ended December 4 from $146 in the previous year period. This is mainly due to middle- and higher-income groups opening their purses 20 percent and 16 percent more to reach $175 and $186 per buyer respectively. The concern is that the lower-income group's spending by dollar per buyer slackened by 1 percent to $134 from $136 in the corresponding period last year.
The survey also threw light on the pattern of growth in the latest year period. The increased spending per buyer is lifting retail sales, whereas the past couple of years the growth was driven by the number of buyers. This is quite evident when the number of buyers rose only 3 percent compared with 12 percent growth in dollars per buyer.
The survey also indicated that some of the consumers decided to increase spending this year after being on the sidelines during the last couple of years. The higher discounts through online sales also drives more consumers to spend.
Retail sales grew 3.2 percent in November compared with last year, a report from International Council of Shopping Centers revealed. The report disclosed that three factors contributed to softer year-over-year results. They are a tougher comparison with 2010 November growth as it witnessed 5.4 percent upside, higher discounts during the Black Friday sales period and the weather situation.
Prominent among the retailers to top consensus estimates in November retail sales include, Limited Brand (LTD), which reported comparable stores sales of 7.0 percent while analysts were expecting 4.9 percent.