Online shopping grows, with some growing pains - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Online shopping grows, with some growing pains


Research shows Americans waited until the last minute to buy holiday gifts this year, but retailers weren't prepared for the spike.

MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse says heavy spending in the final days of the mostly lackluster season sent sales up 3.5 percent between November 1 and Tuesday. The firm tracks payments, but doesn't give dollar figures.

The research firm comScore says online shopping led the uptick, with spending up 10 percent to $38.91 billion between November 2 and Sunday.

Companies were caught off guard by the spike. UPS and FedEx failed to deliver some packages by Christmas due to a combination of poor weather and overloaded systems, leaving some unhappy holiday shoppers.

The last-minute surge this year solidifies the increasing popularity of online shopping, which accounts for about 10 percent of sales during the last three months of the year. But it also underscores the challenges companies face delivering on the experience, particularly during the holiday shopping season.

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