RESTON, Va. ComScore reported Tuesday that retail e-commerce spending during fourth quarter 2009 totaled $39 billion, while total e-commerce spending for last year was $129.8 billion.
The spending in the fourth quarter marks a 3% increase from the year-ago period.
"The fourth quarter, with 3% year-over-year growth, helped end what has been a disappointing year for online consumer spending on a more positive note," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "As we head into 2010, there is reason for guarded optimism for online retail spending to continue to gain share of consumers' wallets. At the same time, I expect absolute growth to be stymied by continued high unemployment and the deleveraging that is occurring in the economy as consumers exercise their new-found propensity to save."
Other highlights from fourth-quarter e-commerce included:
- Spending growth was driven by an increase in online buyers, while average spending per buyer saw modest declines.
- Tuesday, Dec. 15 ranked as the heaviest U.S. online spending day in history at $913 million.
- The largest online retailers, led by Amazon and Walmart, gained market share of e-commerce sales versus small and medium-sized retailers.
- Free shipping factored into more than 4% of e-commerce transactions during the holiday season.