The 2012 holiday shopping season will be the busiest ever for online retailers, according to analysts.
Online metrics firm ComScore predicted sales will be 17 percent higher than last year, topping out at some $43.4bn in the US alone.
ComScore said that over the first 18 days of November, year-on-year sales have been up 16 percent, to $10bn. The figure is up from just $8.7bn over the same period last year.
"Recent five-year highs in consumer confidence and early retailer promotions appear to be serving as wind in the sails for the beginning portion of the holiday season, with consumers opening up their wallets early and often," said ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.
"This spending growth also reflects the continuing channel shift to online as consumers increasingly opt for the attractive pricing, convenience and product selection it offers."
The figures arrive ahead of the start of the holiday shopping rush. Following the US Thanksgiving holiday, a number of retailers are set to kick off their "Black Friday" sales, followed by a boom in e-commerce activity with "Cyber Monday" which expected to carry through the holiday shopping season.
In anticipation of the holiday shopping rush, a number of vendors including Amazon and Apple have announced their own promotions for Black Friday which include discounted pricing and free shipping offers.
The growth would further add to an explosion in online retail activity in recent years. Last year holiday spending in the UK climbed by some 18 percent.
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