comScore 2011 Holiday ShoppingIt’s up, up and away for 2011’s US online holiday shopping. Barely a week ago, comScore estimated nearly $25 billion had been spent toward online purchases. That figure has risen to more than $30 billion, according to newly collected data – that’s a 15 percent increase over last year. Why such a significant rise? It’s all about the deals.

ComScore revealed that, as expected, Cyber Monday was the top-ranked shopping day for the second year running. The web-tracking firm said many consumers have flocked to online retailers in order to take advantage of holiday deals, including free shipping.

“Free shipping is undoubtedly one of the most important incentives for consumers and has become a key driver of online buying activity over the past few years,” comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said.

Cyber Monday wasn’t the only lucrative day for online shopping. Sales were said to have surpassed $1 billion in just four days (December 12 – 16), comeScore said. The current $30 billion estimate was from data measure for the first 46 days of the November – December 2011 holiday shopping season.

In addition, Facebook has been a great tool for retailers to reach a wider audience. J.C. Penney, Kohl’s Corp and Macy’s have all used the social network to advertise deals and special promotions, no doubt increasing sales.

Have you done your shopping exclusively online? Or have you mixed online and in-store? Do you prefer the in-store experience?