Digital marketing intelligence company comScore say that holiday spending has been strong in November-December with over $9 billion being spent online in a 21 day period, up 13 percent on last years figures.
The research by comScore forecasts that over $32 billion will be spent online this year during the November-December holiday season, an 11% rise on figures for 2009.
In a press release Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman said:
"The beginning of the online holiday shopping season has gotten off to an extremely positive start, outperforming our earlier expectations."
"Despite continued high unemployment rates and other economic concerns, consumers seem to be more willing to open up their wallets this holiday season than last. While this early spending surge reflects, in part, heavy promotional activity on the part of retailers occurring earlier this season, it is nevertheless a very encouraging sign."
In a recent survey carried out by comScore 36% of consumers said that they had noticed more special offers and discounts this year. The survey also found that free shipping offers were important to customers.
However, the rise in Internet shopping isn't just seasonal. Figures from the IMRG/Cagemini Index show that online sales increased by 23% year on year in October in the UK and Internet sales were up by over 13% for the third quarter in the United States.
As well as the convenience of buying online Internet shopping can often be less expensive and an increasing amount of consumers are taking advantage of the many cash back/coupon code sites to make further savings.
In an email, Brent Shelton, of the cash-back site FatWallet, said:
"We have definitely seen an increase in both coupon code clicks and cash back purchases in the last two years."
"Consumers are more informed that these additional steps add up to some fairly significant savings if you can develop the positive habit of doing it with every purchase, especially cash back since it's always available."
"Cash back purchases on FatWallet were up +20% on OCT over 2009 and that looks to be higher in NOV because of the cash back increases we are offering from over 200 popular stores until the end of the year."
"We have also incorporated our Best Deals section where our shopping experts add coupon codes and cash back to the deals to help consumers save more. Basically, we do all the homework."
And talking about the holiday season Brent Shelton said:
"We always see an up tick in web traffic for the holidays vs. other times of the year, this year the increase is +10% over 2009 and transactions are somewhere between 15-20% higher for a majority of the weeks from Oct - current. Too soon to tell for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but the outlook is good for increasing significantly over last year's numbers."