U.S. online spending in November and December rose 4 percent from a year earlier to $29.1 billion, with sales showing particular vigor over the Black Friday weekend and the week leading up to Christmas, according to data released on Wednesday by comScore.
The performance beat comScore expectations and was fueled in part by guaranteed shipping, discounting and poor weather that forced shoppers online, comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a statement.
Fulgoni said the results were encouraging but warned that high unemployment and consumer debt levels could curb consumer spending.
Sales were up 11 percent on Black Friday and rose 13 percent on the weekend immediately preceding Christmas, when a major snowstorm slammed the East Coast.
ComScore, a marketing research company, said jewelry and watches saw the biggest increase of any category in November and December, rising 20 percent.
Consumer electronics also showed strong growth, rising 15 percent, fueled by sales of heavily discounted flat-screen television sets.
Dec. 15 marked the first time online sales surpassed $900 million in a single day, reaching $913 million, according to comScore.
Last week, comScore said overall U.S. online spending rose 5 percent over the holidays, but that was limited to the period from Nov. 1 to Christmas Eve.
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