Reston, Va. - Consumer electronics and computer hardware and software were among the fastest-growing e-commerce categories this holiday season, a new comScore study shows.
Online sales of CE soared 21 percent over the Nov. 1-Dec. 23 period, trailing only books and magazines (up 22 percent) and computer hardware, which topped the charts with 23 percent growth year over year.
Computer software (excluding PC games) was the fourth fastest-growing category, up 20 percent, while video gaming hardware and software posted a more modest 9 percent gain.
CE and IT helped drive total online sales to a record $30.8 billion, a 13-percent increase over last year.
comScore said purchases of handheld devices such as e-readers, Apple iPads and laptop computers contributed to much of the computer category's growth.
The biggest single spending day was Cyber Monday (Nov. 29), when consumers ordered more than $1 billion of merchandise online, while Free Shipping Day (Dec. 17) saw the greatest year-over-year growth, with sales up 61 percent to $942 million.
"For at least this holiday season, the American consumer has been able to shrug off the continuing economic challenges of high unemployment rates and depressed housing prices and spend at a rate that has been slightly stronger than we had expected.," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "After the past few years' struggles, it is gratifying to see e-commerce return to a state that can only be described as a very merry holiday shopping season."