By Gautham Nagesh - 12/05/11 03:04 PM EST
Online retailers saw a record start to the holiday shopping season as U.S. shoppers spent almost $6 billion on e-commerce last week, a 15 percent increase from a year ago, according to comScore.
While big business was expected on Cyber Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were also two of the four heaviest online spending days in history, at $1.12 billion and $1.03 billion, respectively. Combined with the bump in traditional retails sales, the figures show increased confidence from consumers ahead of the end of the year.
The most common promotional tactic used by online retailers was free shipping — more than 63 percent of the transactions last week included free shipping, up 11 percent from last year. More than a third of users surveyed said they would not make a purchase without free shipping.
“Consumers have come to expect free shipping during the holiday promotion periods, and retailers, in turn, have realized that they must offer this incentive if they want to maximize their share of consumer spending — especially at the outset of the shopping season," Fulgoni said.