IBM: December U.S. online sales up 12%

Armonk, N.Y. -- The U.S. online retail sector delivered double-digit growth in December 2010 compared with the same period last year, according to analytics-based findings by IBM. Online sales were up 12%, with consumers pushing the average order value up from $171.06 to $190.42 for an increase of 11.3%.

IBM’s findings expand on the company’s earlier report that both Black Friday 2010 and Cyber Monday 2010 delivered strong double-digit growth over 2009. Delivered as part of Coremetrics, an IBM Co.’s third annual December Benchmark Report, the analysis of the online retail sector reveals that department stores and health and beauty retailers were both big winners, with online growth in both sectors far outpacing the online retail sector overall. Both sectors reported sales increases of approximately 23% in December 2010 compared with the year-ago period.

In other findings:

Jewelry retailers also reported a significant jump of 18.5% in sales.

Throughout December, 5.6% of all site visits were initiated from a mobile device, a 19% increase over November 2010. Further, 5.5% of all online retail sales came from mobile devices, a 7% increase over November 2010.

"Retailers did a tremendous job of enticing consumers to shop online with a variety of special promotions, guaranteed delivery dates, free or deeply discounted shipping, and up-to-date inventory information,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer, IBM Coremetrics. “Consumers have come to value the ease and convenience of shopping whenever and wherever they please, and are increasingly turning to online sites to research and purchase a variety of products.”