Consumers are initiating more transactions online this holiday season, but the average ticket size is down, according to payment processor Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC. The Chase Paymentech Pulse Index, which samples a portion of the daily settlement activity of 50 of Internet Retailer’s Top 500 online merchants, reports that total online transactions from Nov. 5 through Dec. 13 were up 25.3% compared with the same period last year, while total purchase volume was up 14.7%. But the average ticket size was down 8.3%, to $53.74 this year from $58.62 last year. “We’re encouraged to see that overall e-commerce continues to grow,” Aaron Press, director of market analysis at Dallas-based Chase Paymentech, tells CardLine, adding that “a variety of forces” helped to drive down the average ticket size. “Promotional activity was very heavy in November, with discounts, free shipping and other deals. That, combined with economic conditions and the fact that consumer confidence is still tracking fairly low, is contributing to somewhat smaller transaction amounts,” Press says. Chase Paymentech, which estimates it processes some 50% of all online transactions, bases its findings on a fraction of the total number of transactions it processes.

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