Despite the 2002 holiday shopping season providing online retailers with nearly US$8 billion, the whole experience has received a mixed response from consumers. Although a large number of consumers are willing enough to buy for the holidays online, many agree that big improvements are needed for next year, according to reports from ForeSee Results and BizRate.
Consumer spending totalled US$7.92 billion for the month leading up to December 25, 2002, representing a 23% increase over the same period in 2001, according to e-commerce research firm, BizRate, which had boldly predicted a 24% holiday shopping growth rate earlier in 2002.
The peak holiday shopping day for the 2002 season was Monday, December 9th, when sales hit US$367 million (compared to the previous year's peak of US$253.8 million on Monday, December 10, 2001).
Last minute shopping
And, as online consumer satisfaction improved bit by bit, consumers did more last minute shopping online. Spending on the last weekend before December 25th was US$297.6 million, up some 92% on the same weekend the year before.
For the third year in a row, women were responsible for the majority of online purchases, increasing their share of buying to 60% from 2001's more modest 56%. This is significant because, in 1998, women accounted for only 39% of all online holiday transactions.
The most searched-for products at BizRate's online marketplace were digital cameras and printers, camcorders, handbags and luggage, children's building sets and models. The top categories, as ranked by BizRate, are as follows: