E-commerce spending is expected to grow 13.7 percent to $51.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010, topping last year's Q4 sales of $45.2 billion, according to a new forecast published by eMarketer.
"Shoppers continue to shift a greater share of their holiday spending from stores to the internet," said Jeffrey Grau, principal analyst at eMarketer. "They do so to avoid crowded malls, find bargains and locate unusual or popular items that are unavailable in stores."
Strong holiday sales will push annual e-commerce numbers to $162.4 billion for full-year 2010, up 12.7 percent over 2009, the firm reported.
Online holiday sales will represent an estimated 23.7 percent of online retail sales in 2010, underlining the importance that November and December have on retailers' annual e-commerce sales.
See also: "Thrifty Holidays Ahead?"