Report from Coremetrics suggests that the online retail sector did well in December with the % of completed purchases up by 23% compared to November; but down by 2.4% compared to December 2007. However, the average number of items per order and average order value fell by 19 percent and 11 percent respectively, compared to November.
This means that while more online shopping transactions were completed in December than in November, the average amount of money consumers are spending is down.
Both the Apparel sector and Department stores saw a 33 percent jump in
the number of online sessions in which people completed an order. Home goods retailers saw a 46 percent rise in the number of online sessions in which people completed an order.
"The holiday retail season failed to be the unqualified shopping success many were hoping for," said John Squire, chief strategy officer for Coremetrics. "These numbers reflect continuing consumer nervousness in the face of a tough economy. We saw more people shopping online, not just because it's tremendously convenient, but because savvy retailers offered huge incentives like free shipping until very late in the holiday retail season. But those same consumers are only spending conservatively -- no one wants to pay full price."
Download the full report here: http://www.coremetrics.com/downloads/coremetrics-benchmark-industry-report-2008-12-us.pdf