US Online Holiday Retail Sales Expected to Near $60 Billion in 2011

Forrester Research - Online Retail Growth - 2011According to Forrester Research, online holiday sales in the United States will grow 15% this year to $59.5 billion.

According to the research firm, Americans are increasingly interested in hunting down good deals thanks to the weak economy. With the boom in tablet sales and smartphones, and surge in popularity of online coupon sites, many retailers are presenting increasingly aggressive deals (free shipping, lower prices) in an effort to attract these thrifty shoppers.

The continued increase in online holiday sales is certainly not a surprise. Online retailers such as have the online buying process down cold, and, most importantly, people trust the majority of these big-name online retailers. 5-10 years ago, many people were still skeptical of giving out their credit card information to companies such as Amazon. That hesitance is slowly being washed away with each passing year.

For many people, the online buying experience is simply more enjoyable and fruitful. Heading out to a crowded mall on "Black Friday" loses its lustre in the face of an enjoyable online experience. The fact is, with technology as it is, you can do the vast majority of your shopping while sitting in the bath and holding your iPad. Many people are choosing to do the vast majority of their shopping online these days.

With coupon and price comparison sites, savvy shoppers can do an incredible amount of research in just a couple of minutes - try doing that while navigating your way through a crowded mall with three hungry kids in tow.

It also doesn't hurt online retail sales that the US consumer is considerably more thrifty than they were before the "Great Recession". Searching for deals online is easy - searching for deals at brick and mortar operations can be exhausting. In addition, hauling your family out for a day of shopping at the local mall can incur a host of added expenses (gas, meals, etc).


Let's take a look at the growth of online holiday retail sales over the last nine years in the United States:

2003 - $18.1 billion
2004 - $22.1 billion
2005 - $27.2 billion
2006 - $32.9 billion
2007 - $39.3 billion
2008 - $41.4 billion
2009 - $44.7 billion
2010 - $51.7 billion
2011 - $59.5 billion (expected)

Forrester - 2011 - Online Holiday Retail Sales Growth

In the end, buying the vast majority of items online is just easier and cheaper. I would expect this trend in increasing online holiday retail sales to continue to grow over the coming years.

Source: Forrester: U.S. Online Holiday Spending Will Grow 15 Percent To Nearly $60 Billion

Filed under: General Knowledge

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