Tag Archives: retailers

U.S. Online Holiday Shopping Season Reaches Record $37.2 Billion for November-December Period

RESTON, Va., Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — comScore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported that retail e-commerce spending for the entire November – December 2011 holiday season reached $37.2 billion, marking a 15-percent increase versus last year and an all-time record for the season. Ten individual shopping days this season surpassed $1 billion in spending, led by Cyber Monday – which ranked #1 for the second consecutive year – at $1.25 billion.

2011 Holiday Season To Date vs. Seasonally Equivalent Days in 2010

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

 

 

Millions ($)
2010 2011 Percent Change
November 1 – December 31 $32,359* $37,170 15%
Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) $407 $479 18%
Black Friday (Nov. 25) $648 $816 26%
Thanksgiving Weekend (Nov. 26-27) $886 $1,031 16%
Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) $1,028 $1,251 22%
Green Monday (Dec. 12) $954 $1,133 19%
Free Shipping Day (Dec. 16) $942 $1,072 14%

* 2010 data incorporates seasonal adjustment factor to account for different number of weekdays and weekends in 2010 and 2011. Actual (i.e. non-seasonally adjusted) 2010 number was $32.589 billion.

“The 2011 online holiday shopping finished with slightly more than $37 billion in spending, up about 15 percent versus year ago,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “With brick-and-mortar holiday retail estimated to have grown about 4 percent this year, it’s clear that e-commerce continues to gain market share from traditional retail due to the attractiveness of the Internet’s convenience and lower prices. Consumers were especially attracted to the deals and discounts available through digital channels – particularly free shipping, which occurred on well over half of transactions this season. Despite their continuing price sensitivity, consumers felt a bit more comfortable opening up their wallets this year, although this appears to have occurred as a result of a decline in the savings rate. Nonetheless, it’s clear that, at least on the basis of top line growth, this was a Merry Christmas for many online retailers. What will remain unknown until retailers report their financial year end results is whether the aggressive pricing and free shipping offers came at the cost of lower margins.”

Top 10 Online Spending Days of 2011 Holiday Season
Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 28) ranked as the heaviest online spending day of the year at $1.251 billion, the second consecutive year it has ranked #1 for the season. The 2011 holiday season was highlighted by ten individual spending days surpassing $1 billion in sales, as compared to just one day reaching that mark in 2010. The second heaviest spending day this season was Monday, Dec. 5 at $1.178 billion, followed by Green Monday (Monday, Dec. 12) at $1.133 billion. Tuesday, Nov. 29 ($1.116 billion) and Tuesday, Dec. 6 ($1.107 billion) rounded out the top five.

 

Billion Dollar Spending Days for 2011 Holiday Season

Non-Travel (Retail) Spending

Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations

Source: comScore, Inc.

Rank Date Spending in Millions ($)
1 Monday, Nov. 28 (Cyber Monday) $1,251
2 Monday, Dec. 5 $1,178
3 Monday, Dec. 12 (Green Monday) $1,133
4 Tuesday, Nov. 29 $1,116
5 Tuesday, Dec. 6 $1,107
6 Friday, Dec. 16 (Free Shipping Day) $1,072
7 Tuesday, Dec. 13 $1,064
8 Wednesday, Nov. 30 $1,025
9 Thursday, Dec. 8 $1,024
10 Thursday, Dec. 15 $1,018

 

Cyber Monday: Online Deals Have Tax Consequences

Cyber Monday: Online Deals Have Tax Consequences, Says CCH

CCH Outlines Taxes Consumers Face as They Shop Online for Holidays; Chart Shows States with Sales Tax and Online Sales Tax Rules

RIVERWOODS, Ill., Nov. 15, 2011 — This holiday season, online shoppers will find more states are looking to make sure gift givers also give their state its fair share – in terms of sales tax for online purchases, according to CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and a leading global provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software and services (CCHGroup.com). Last year, online shoppers spent more than $1 billion just on Cyber Monday, and online shopping this holiday season is expected to continue to grow at a double-digit rate.

“Whether people shop online or in stores, states expect them to pay sales tax on their purchases,” saidDaniel Schibley, JD, CCH Senior State Tax Analyst. “However, few online shoppers comply, unless the tax is collected by the merchant.”

Under existing laws, retailers are required to collect sales taxes for purchases made in states in which they have a physical presence, or nexus. As more sales head online, it is projected that states are losing billions of dollars annually in sales tax revenue they once collected from local retailers, and they are increasingly looking for ways to shore up their tax base.

Two ways to do this, according to CCH, are to require more online retailers to collect sales tax through broader nexus rules and to require consumers to pay the required use tax portion of sales tax. Sales tax has two parts – the sales portion paid by the retailer and the use portion paid by the consumer. Under existing rules, individuals are required to pay use tax in states with a sales tax if the retailer does not collect the tax.

State Sales Tax Collection Approaches

Overall, 45 states currently have a sales tax. This includes every state with the exception of Alaska,Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. The District of Columbia also imposes a sales tax.

Eleven states have enacted broader nexus rules that require online retailers to collect sales and use tax even if the retailer does not have a physical presence in the state but does solicit sales through online links or pays commissions to an in-state business (known as click-through nexus); or if the retailer has an affiliation with a company doing business in the state (known as affiliate-nexus laws).  These states include: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island,South Dakota, Texas and Vermont. The California, Texas and Vermont provisions are not yet in force, however. Four other states have legislation for these rules pending: Massachusetts, Michigan,Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

“Each of these laws increase the likelihood that if you live in these states, some online retailers will be charging you sales taxes when you make online purchases,” said Schibley.

Additionally, Colorado law requires retailers selling into the state but not collecting sales tax to send the state an annual reporting notification statement of everyone in the state it shipped to and the value of those purchases so that it can pursue collection of use taxes. However, a federal court in Denver has put enforcement of this law on hold for now.

Several states also require online retailers to provide explicit notifications on their websites letting consumers know about their obligation to pay their state sales tax. States with these website notification rules include Colorado, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Vermont.

States collecting sales tax also have information on their websites about how to pay uncollected use tax. Many states provide a line item on their income tax return where consumers can report the amount of use tax they owe.