Online spending rose from $15.1 billion to $19.5 billion from Nov. 1 to Dec. 4 compared with last year, according to comScore. But that may dip temporarily as "online retailers typically reduce their promotional activity as they attempt to restore their margins," warns comScore's Gian Fulgoni. Upper middle class earners led the early charge, possibly experiencing what Fulgoni called "austerity fatigue."

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