Another Holiday Shopping Forecast on E-Commerce Spending

comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) released its survey results and forecast for the 2011 holiday season e-commerce spending.

For the first 20 days of the November-December 2011 holiday season, shoppers spent $9.7 billion on online shopping — up a gratifying 14% over the same days last year. “The 2011 online holiday shopping season has shown strength in the early going with a year-over-year growth rate of 14 percent,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. “With the persistent backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty and continued high unemployment, consumers appear to be increasingly favoring the online benefits of convenience and lower prices. Based on the expectation that these positive spending trends will continue for the season, this year promises to be a Merry Christmas indeed for online retailers.”

comScore forecasts the 2011 holiday season on-line retail spend could reach $37.6 billion, up about 15% over the previous year. Significantly, this comes on top of last season’s 12% increase. “Due to the strength leading up to and during the holiday season-to-date, comScore’s statistical models are forecasting that U.S. retail e-commerce spending will grow at a rate of 15 percent versus last year,” added Fulgoni. “These projected growth rates reflect the significant channel shift we’re witnessing from offline retail as an increasing number of consumers rely on the online channel for initial browsing, price comparisons and completing transactions. With this continued momentum, comScore anticipates nearly $38 billion in online consumer spending during the November and December time period.”

A separate survey of shoppers’ attitudes and sentiment regarding the current holiday shopping season reveals that 33% shoppers feel that retailers have stepped up promotional activity. 76% felt that free shipping was an important incentive, and 47 % indicated that they might reject a purchase unless it included free shipping.