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E-commerce expected to grow even faster this holiday season

Online retail spending will rise 16% this holiday season, a much faster clip than last year, as U.S. consumers feel more confident about spending and make greater use of mobile devices to shop, comScore (SCOR) said in its closely watched forecast released on Tuesday.

ComScore expects holiday e-commerce to hit $61 billion in November and December. Spending done from a desktop should rise 14% this year, compared to 10% this year, while m-commerce should grow 25%, the analytics firm predicted. Mobile shopping will represent about one-eighth of e-commerce spending.

“The recent trends we’ve seen in online consumer spending suggest that American consumers are ready to open their wallets,” said Gian Fulgoni, executive chairman emeritus of comScore.

Brick and mortar retailers have been scrambling to get their share of e-commerce’s expected growth this holiday season as they compete with (AMZN): J.C. Penney (JCP) launched a new mobile shopping app ahead of the season, and expects mobile to eventually generate half the traffic on Target (TGT) has also just launched new apps as part of a broad e-commerce overhaul. Meanwhile Penney, Target and Kohl’s (KSS) will be using some stores to help fill online orders. (All of Macy’s (M) stores are now equipped to help out with online sales.)

Meanwhile, United Parcel Service (UPS) doubled its holiday season hiring to cope with an expected jump in package volume, while FedEx also ramped up its staffing.

ComScore’s forecast is far more optimistic than that of the National Retail Federation, which has forecast growth of up 11%. The NRF has said it expects holiday season sales at brick-and-mortar stores to rise 4.1% this holiday season.