Holiday Internet Commerce Soars Past $5 Billion

Survey results from Marketing Corp. of America (Westport, Conn.) indicate holiday shopping on the Internet “nearly quadrupled this year to over $5 billion.”

In addition to the raw number of sales, MCA found that female shoppers made up for a bulk of the consumer retail purchases as “a growing number of women gain Internet access.”

MCA, a unit of Interpublic Group (New York), indicates "E-Retail" sales, or the portion of electronic commerce sales directly to the end consumer over the Internet, have topped both last year's $1.3 billion and some estimates of $2.3 to $3.4 billion for this Christmas. E-Retail sales now generate three percent of the nation's holiday season sales, according to MCA, which added that an estimated $14 - $15 billion of Internet-based goods and services were sold to consumers in 1998, equaling one percent of the nation's retail economy for the first time.

MCA’s results are based on a December survey of over 1,000 consumers and a review of 200 traditional and Internet retailers.

--L. Greenemeier