Size of Average On-line Ticket Down in Holiday Months

According to Chase Paymentech the average size of on-line purchases is going down. Paymentech, who monitors sales among the top 50 on-line retailers, says that the average ticket size for November and December declined 9%. Other on-line trends were very encouraging as the number of e-commerce transactions for the holiday months increased by 37% and total sales jumped 25%.

The smaller ticket sales suggest that consumers are making more of their every day purchases on-line, but are reserving big ticket purchases for in-person shopping. Chase also has several theories for the decline, one of which is the increase in digital media sales. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes songs are cheaper than CDs, e-books are cheaper than paperbacks, and apps are cheaper than game cartridges. Chase also cites the declining prices of electronics such as tablets, e-readers, and TVs, and the prevalence of free shipping, which means that consumers are more willing to make small frequent purchases rather than loading up a shopping cart to get bundled shipping rates.

AllThingsD reported¬†eBay¬†(NASDAQ:EBAY) the first major e-commerce retailer to post Q4 results, was seeing the decreasing ticket price trend as well. eBay’s CEO, John Donahue, said he thought the trend was largely due to the company’s acquisition of Zong, a a mobile payments provider that powers the sale of digital goods, and that retailers were forced to deeply discount products in order to drive sales this year. Chase also reported that the exceptions to the trend were apparel and footwear which rose 6% and toys which were up 10% year over year.