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2013 Online Holiday Spending Surges Compared to 2012
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Online sales grew by leaps and bounds this holiday season. As the shopping clock ticks to a close, here’s the rundown:

Thanksgiving Day: Traditionally, Thanksgiving Day (November 28 this year) has been a lighter day for online holiday spending, but this year online sales grew 21 percent over Thanksgiving Day last year, reaching $766 million. Controversy over stores opening on Thanksgiving this year may have raised awareness and driven many consumers to avoid the crowds (but take advantage of the deals) by shopping from home on Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is the fastest-growing online shopping day over the past five years, according to ComSCORE.

Black Friday: Thanksgiving Day excitement spilled over into Black Friday. ComSCORE reports that Black Friday 2013 (November 29) saw $1.198 billion in desktop online sales, representing a 15 percent increase compared to Black Friday 2012.

Cyber Monday: The Monday after Black Friday saw $1.735 billion in desktop online spending, an increase of 18 percent over the same day last year. This was the heaviest online spending day in history, beating out Black Friday.

In fact, the entire weekend after Thanksgiving, spending was up a whopping 34 percent compared to the same weekend last year. For the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, online buying from desktop computers reached $5.3 billion, up 22 percent from last year.

What are some notable online shopping trends from the holiday season?

  • Cyber Monday shoppers are still shopping at work. Nearly half of online spending on Cyber Monday occurred at work computers (49.2 percent), up 2.1 percentage points from last year. Cyber Monday got its name back when most people only had dial-up at home, so they waited until they were at work (with better Internet connections) to snap up holiday deals. Even though more consumers now have broadband Internet at home, apparently the tradition of shopping at work on Cyber Monday continues.
  • While most holiday online buying typically occurs during the week, this year ComSCORE reports that shoppers are doing more of their online buying during the weekends. For example, the Saturday and Sunday after Cyber Monday saw $1.7 billion in spending on desktop computers, up a whopping 71 percent compared to last year.
  • ComSCORE theorizes that the weekend surges could be due to showrooming—with in-store shoppers on the weekend whipping out their mobile phones, finding better deals and buying online.

However, ComSCORE also notes that the shorter shopping season this year could be spurring consumers to simply cram more of their shopping into limited time—including the weekends.

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