ComScore's 2014 holiday season forecast is predicting that online retail spending will reach $61 billion through the months of November and December, up 16 percent from last year. Specifically on desktops, consumers will spend $53.2 billion, up 14 percent, and mobile will make up $7.9 billion of retail, representing 13 percent.
In total, digital commerce is expected to grow at an annual rate of 25 percent from last year. However, physical stores seem to still be at the top of consumers' lists, as 54 percent of shoppers, who make less than $100,000 a year, plan to spend more of their total holiday budget in-store. According to Deloitte's 29th annual holiday survey, a strong digital presence may actually push more consumers into physical stores and convert browsers into buyers. As many as 72 percent of respondents will use mobile for holiday shopping, but 58 percent are using the device to find store locations and 52 percent will use it to check prices.
"Although some lasting effects of the great recession still provide some overhang on the economy, many of the latest indicators point toward signs of optimism for consumer spending during the holidays," said Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman emeritus of comScore. "Negative economic sentiment is at a five-year low, the stock market is near all-time highs and inflation has been kept in check. The one negative is that real wages for many middle-class Americans have not grown and in fact may have declined slightly. That said, the recent trends we've seen in online consumer spending suggest that American consumers are ready to open their wallets and embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season."
Overall for the quarter, desktop e-commerce sales will rise 13 percent to $53.9 billion, marking the 20th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth. In the mobile space, spending will rise 17 percent for the quarter to $6.7 billion, combining for a total of $60.6 billion in digital commerce for the fourth quarter.
With the vast rise in e-commerce, logistics and delivery companies are gearing up for a major influx of last minute holiday shipments. Earlier this week, UPS CEO David Abney warned retailers that they will be charged or even refused delivery of packages if last-minute sales threaten the company's system this holiday season. Last year a surge in pre-Christmas sales left 2 million express packages undelivered in the United States.
-See this comScore press release
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