Online holiday spending continues upward trend

Shoppers continue to express their desire to make purchases online, as ecommerce sales through the first month of the holiday shopping season – November 1 through December 2 – increased 15 percent compared to the same time last year, according to comScore.

During that time, the research firm found, customers combined to spend $18.7 billion on online purchases. In 2010, the first month of the holiday season accounted for $16.3 billion.

Cyber Week, which began on November 28 with the aptly named Cyber Monday, experienced the highest sales, with nearly $6 billion. That was also an increase of 15 percent, according to comScore.

With online sales as high as they are, retailers must be sure they are ready to accommodate these changing shopping habits, experts say. That could include improving supply chain management programs to ensure that inventories are at appropriate levels to deal with online purchases.

A separate comScore study found that mobile commerce is also on the rise, especially among smartphone users, according to a ZDNet report. Thirty-eight percent of smartphone users have made at least one purchase through their devices.

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