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Online holiday shopping up, but not as much as expected, comScore says

U.S. desktop users spend $42.8 billioin between Nov. 1 and Dec. 22

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Desktop computer users in the U.S. spent 10 percent more during the holiday shopping season in 2013 than they did in 2012, but spending fell short of expectations from digital analytics firm comScore.

U.S. shoppers using desktops spent about US $42.8 billion between Nov. 1 and Dec. 22, up from $38.9 billion in 2012, comScore said Thursday. The company was expecting a 14 percent increase between 2012 and 2013, however, said spokesman Andrew Lipsman.

"Our expectations for the online holiday shopping season anticipated that consumers would spend heavily later into the season out of necessity to make up for the highly compressed holiday shopping calendar this year," comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement. "Unfortunately that was not in the cards, as the final online shopping week saw considerably softer sales than anticipated."

The comScore numbers don't include shopping using smartphones and tablets; the company releases mobile shopping numbers quarterly.

U.S. online sales through desktops reached $766 million on Nov. 28, Thanksgiving Day, up 21 percent from a year ago. Shopping numbers were up 15 percent on black Friday, Nov. 29, to $1.2 billion, and up 18 percent, to $1.7 billion on cyber Monday, Dec. 2.

Cyber Monday, Dec. 2, and the following Tuesday were the heaviest online shopping days, comScore said. Tuesday, Dec. 3, saw desktop-based sales of more than $1.4 billion. Dec. 9 was the third biggest shopping day, with sales of $1.4 billion.

The top gaining product category for 2013 was video game consoles and accessories, as Microsoft released a new version of its xBox gaming console and Sony Computer Entertainment released a new PlayStation.

Also posting big gains in 2013 were apparel and accessories; consumer electronics, bolstered by smartphones sales; and computer hardware, bolstered by tablet sales, comScore said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.



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