US Online Sales Rise 14 Percent to $46.6 million

Online sales in the U.S. for the Christmas season, November 1-December 31, jumped 10 percent on the year to $46.6 billion, according to e-commerce tracking firm comScore Inc.
 
The firm had predicted a 14-percent  rise in sales to $48 billion.
 
“Although the 2013 holiday season fell short of our initial forecast, it still performed very well in certain regards,” said comScore's chairman, Gian Fulgoni. “Achieving a double-digit growth rate, while significantly outperforming the growth of brick-and-mortar retail by a factor of at least two is noteworthy, particularly considering the inherent challenges in this unusual holiday season.”
 
Fulgoni said lower sales figures compared to initial predictions was largely due to the shorter sales time available between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas meaning consumers did not have the same opportunity to shop.
 
''They made up for it to some extent by spending significantly more online on the weekends, but so many fewer workdays provided a headwind for the season that ultimately proved very challenging to overcome. That said, it should also be noted that many consumers continue to be challenged economically, which forced retailers to offer large price discounts in an attempt to stimulate demand. Unfortunately, this also had the effect of reducing total dollar sales since consumers could buy more for less,'' Fulgoni said.
 
The company reported 10 individual spending days with $1 billion or more in retail sales from  desktop computers during the holiday season, with Cyber Monday setting a record $1.735 billion.