E-Commerce: A Procrastinator's Paradise

By Nicholas Carlson | Posted December 19, 2006

E-commerce makes holiday shopping easier — that is if you get around to it. ComScore's estimates of consumer online non-travel (retail) spending at U.S. sites for this 2006 holiday season show that e-commerce makes it easier for Americans to uphold one of the season's most venerable traditions: procrastination.

Online spending has broken records all season long. For the first 45 days of the 2006 holiday season, through Dec. 15, online shoppers spent $19.48 billion, a 25 percent increase versus the corresponding days in 2005.

But it's in the last week or so that ComScore culled data to show what everyone already knew: American shoppers procrastinate when it comes to their holiday shopping. E-commerce has only made the tradition easier to keep.

On Monday Dec. 11, consumers set a single-day record for online spending with $661 million. But two days later, that record was broken as shoppers spent $667 million online. Over the following two days, American shoppers spent 33 percent and 38 percent more online than they did the same two years before.

The numbers show that as they get used to the speed and convenience of online e-commerce, consumers are putting off their shopping later and later.

Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks, said in a statement that the numbers wouldn't have turned out so high if retailers hadn't cashed in on procrastination by offering late-season shipping guarantees.

"Later shipping deadlines this season and the fact that many consumers received a paycheck on December 15 could keep online sales in full swing early next week," Fulgoni said.

Adapted from Internetnews.com.

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