Uptick In Online Advertising Leads To Increase In Holiday Ecommerce

Expect consumers to spend more online this holiday season as U.S. retailers increase online ad spend. In fact, U.S. retailers will spend 15.7% more this year on digital advertising compared with 14.5% in 2012 -- bringing the total to $9.5 billion, per eMarketer. The uptick contributes to comScore's and Forrester Research's separate estimates for ecommerce growth this year.

A good portion of this year's investment will focus on drawing in holiday shoppers, as eMarketer expects the last months in 2013 to account for a disproportionate share of retail revenue. The analyst firm expects that 23.5% of all U.S. retail ecommerce sales will occur in November and December, totaling $61.8 billion. Consumers will spend 16.4% more online this year -- $262.3 billion -- with U.S. retailers.

Retail stores typically spend more on digital advertising compared with other vertical industries.

This year's increase shows a 22.3% share of total U.S. digital ad spending, flat with last year. eMarketer research also suggests that much of the incremental digital ad growth from retailers will go toward mobile advertising -- particularly search, as well as select mobile display media with large audiences and strong targeting platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The trends driving advertisers to spend more of their budget online point to an increase of online consumer purchases made easier through mobile convenience, showrooming, and social commerce, per comScore. The data firm released its holiday ecommerce annual forecast that estimates U.S. consumers will spend $48.1 billion in the U.S., up 14% compared with last year. Contributing 13% of total digital commerce, mobile commerce sales will reach $7.1 billion for the November and December holiday season.

Forrester Research forecasts $78.7 billion in U.S. online sales this holiday season -- including mobile and tablet sales -- up 15% compared with $68.4 billion in 2012 sales. This year 167 million shoppers will go to the Web to do holiday shopping, spending an average of $472 for the season.

Experts attribute the uptick, in part, to the many retail stores that began running online offers and ads at least a week earlier this year. Some 51% of retailers participating in Shop.org's eHoliday survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics said they would start Thanksgiving weekend online promotions at least five days before the big weekend.

The growing trend among consumers to shop online on Thanksgiving Day has 53.5% offering promotions specifically for that day.

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