Verisign reports this morning that online holiday shopping spending rose 24% year over year. That's lower than comScore's recent 28% estimate, and since Verisign tracks actual payments its number may be more accurate.
Verisign's category data are useful: electronics up 17%, apparel up 45%, music and video downloads up 54%, photo printing and sharing up 120%, and "general retail" up 24%. The largest constituent of "general retail" is Kitchen-and-Housewares at 24% of the total. Of note:
- Electronics was an early success for online sales (think Dell), so it's a heavily penetrated category. Still, 17% growth is strong (all those iPods).
- The apparel numbers are really strong. Offline retailers are getting their acts together, and Amazon's apparel store is working.
- "Music and video downloads"??? Sounds like "iTunes downloads" to me. Who else (large) is there?