According to the eSpending Report from Goldman Sachs, Harris Interactive, and Nielsen/NetRatings, online spending during the eight week period from November 2 to December 27 jumped more than 24 percent year-over-year to $13.7 billion, up from $11 billion spent in 2001. Including travel, online spending grew nearly 22 percent to $15.7 billion.
The top two fastest growing categories for the season were toys and video
games and consumer electronics, with shoppers increasing spending for both
categories by more than 72 percent. With nearly $2 billion in sales, consumer
electronics claimed the No. 4 ranking among shopping categories, while toys
and games posted online spending of more than $1.8 billion.
Playing with the numbers, this survey estimated $3.1 billion in book sales during this eight week period. If I'm doing the math correctly (assuming an average book costs $25), that's on average about 25.7 books being sold every second during that eight week period. Earlier, Amazon reported
that on its peak day (December 9th) it processed orders for 20 items/second (all items, not just books).