"Increased confidence in the online medium, the realization by consumers of just how convenient the Internet is, higher oil prices, and long lines at the mall will all contribute to much greater shopping online," said Jeffrey Grau, an eMarketer senior analyst. But, Grau added the caveat: "Because online sales have been so modest until now, it doesn't take much to register a large boost in the market."
This holiday season, consumers will spend approximately $3.7 million online for clothing, $2.1 million for toys and video games, $2 million for electronics such as cell phones and DVD players, $1.65 million for computer hardware, and $1.6 million for videos and DVDs, according to the report, which cited data from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive, and Nielsen//NetRatings.
Separately, research firm JupiterResearch released predictions earlier this week that e-commerce sales will reach $21.6 billion this November and December, which Jupiter said represents an increase of 19 percent from their estimates for last year's holiday season online sales.
Neither JupiterResearch nor eMarketer could explain the discrepancy between their estimates.