Lighter spending in December led to a somewhat sobering ecommerce season, with comScore reporting a 14% increase in online shopping, with a total of $42.2 billion. While both Free Shipping Day and Christmas Day rose sharply from the prior year, it wasn’t enough to make up for consumers’ overall spending slowdown.
"The 2012 online holiday season was once again a very strong season with growth rates in the mid-teens as we reached record-setting spending levels," says comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni in its release. "This year's growth rate is essentially on a par with last year's. But despite many positives for the online sector, this year's season did not quite perform up to our initial expectation for growth rates in excess of 16%.”
The Reston, Va.-based company attributes the slowdown to fiscal-cliff concerns.