comScore Notes Holiday Spending Up But Sales Curtailed Due to Short Holiday Calendar

Holiday shoppers sat at their desktop devices and spent $42.8 billion online during the first 52 days of the November-to-December 2013 season, according to the latest data provided by comScore. That's an increase of 10 percent compared to last year when online spending reached $38.9 billion, though it still fell short of expectations, in part because of the shortened holiday season this year.

"Our expectations for the online holiday shopping season anticipated that consumers would spend heavily later into the season out of necessity to make up for the highly compressed holiday shopping calendar this year," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "Unfortunately that was not in the cards, as the final online shopping week saw considerably softer sales than anticipated, including zero billion dollar spending days – although Monday and Tuesday came close."

Online Shopping
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Retailers had six fewer days this year to pluck cash from holiday shoppers, and even though overall sales fell short, it wasn't for lack of trying. Online shops offered "heavy" discounts "in an attempt to stimulate consumer demand," but consumers ultimately weren't able or willing to fully compensate for the shortened season.

Given that Microsoft launched its Xbox One console and Sony released its PlayStation 4, it's no surprise that the Video Game Consoles & Accessories category ranked as the top gaining product sector. This was followed by Apparel & Accessories, Consumer Electronics (bolstered by smartphone sales), Computer Hardware, and Home & Garden.