Online sales for the first 18 days of the holiday season have jumped 16% over the same period last year. comScore, Inc
., predicts an overall 17% increase in e-commerce sales this year.
Retail sales overall, including bricks and mortar sales, are expected to increase 4.1% over last year.
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Smartphones and tablets offer more convenient access for consumers to make purchases online. Savvy retailers have coordinated their marketing efforts to enhance traditional storefront deals.
The mobile devices have become a game changer for the industry. Faster networks can deliver a rich shopping experience without having to access laptops and computers.
Sites like Pinterest and Facebook that promote photo sharing and liking of different products are also helping to fuel online sales.
Pinterest has coagulated what used to be primarily talk about so-called social commerce where consumers recommend products through Facebook and Twitter.
Consumers also will often research a product they see in a store online to see if they can find a better price.
Smartphone apps such as Amazon’s Price Check lets consumers scan barcodes with a smartphone’s camera, then move the item with the best price to their shopping cart and buy it on the spot.
Technology is changing the way consumers spend. Consumer spending is a primary driver
of economic growth. That means that, perhaps, new ways of measuring economic growth will also emerge.