U.S. online holiday spending hits $35.3 billion

Up 15 percent from last year, sales set a record this year for the 56-day stretch from November through December, according to new data from ComScore.

U.S. consumers spent a total of $35.3 billion online this holiday season, hitting a record for holiday sales, ComScore said today.

The 56-day holiday shopping period from November 1 to December 26 marked a 15 percent jump in spending over last year's season. The week ending December 25 alone saw $2.8 billion in online sales, a rise of 16 percent compared with the same week last year.

And the spending spree continued on into Christmas Day.

On December 25 there was a surge in sales of digital content and subscriptions, an area that includes downloads of music, TV shows, movies, e-books, and apps. After Santa delivered his bags of smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and other gadgets, consumers were eager to grab content for their new devices.

Digital content accounted for more than 20 percent of all online sales on Christmas, compared with just 2.8 percent on an average day during the holiday season. ComScore said it expects these types of purchases to remain robust for the rest of the week following Christmas Day.

ComScore

"Holiday e-commerce spending has remained strong throughout the season, and we have now reached a record $35 billion in U.S. online sales for the season-to-date," ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. "We can now say with certainty that the $1.25 billion spent on Cyber Monday will rank it as the heaviest online spending day of the season for the second consecutive year, but we should also note that it was accompanied by nine other billion dollar spending days this year."

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