Perhaps not surprisingly, traffic to retail sites and consumer spending on those sites were both down during the holiday season, according to ComScore.
The research firm estimates total U.S. e-commerce spending declined 3 percent, the first ever drop reported by ComScore since it began tracking online retail spending in 2001. Total spending was estimated at $25.5 billion, compared to $26.3 billion in 2007.
“The combination of having five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the severe economic headwinds faced by consumers has mad this a really tough season for retailers, both offline and online,” said a statement from ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.
Some online retailers appeared to benefit from the bad economy — at least in terms of traffic. Consumers hunting for deals online helped drive a 5 percent lift in visits to sites like Amazon (7 percent) and Wal-Mart (4 percent). Apple (19 percent) also saw an increase. The list of traffic losers included eBay (-4 percent); Target (-1 percent); and JC Penney (-11 percent). Best Buy’s e-commerce site had no measurable change in traffic from the corresponding period in 2007.
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