Not sure why ComScore expected strong online sales late in the season. With shipping concerns, weather and other December issues the holidays begin to shut down online around 1.15 and sales become very quiet by 1.20.
This year that trend was accelerated by the calendar with Christmas in the middle of the week. As we discussed in our Ecommies piece for Curatti (Is Ecommerce Stuck In The Mud http://curatti.com/is-ecommerce-stuck-in-the-mud/ ) ecommerce wasn't very inspiring this year.
Ecommerce merchants are caught in tectonic shifts in the mobile/social web. Online merchants are slowly realizing social marketing is more than one way communication. Social marketing is a conversation, but few online merchants treat social media marketing like an active two way conversation.
The mobile revolution is about much more than smart phones too, yet few online e-retailers are organized around a "mobile first" idea. Battles continue on free shipping, battles that should be all but over as leaders have adopted free shipping out and back (i.e. for returns too) especially in December.
Free shipping out and back is now a meme, a meme that will take over by 2015 (if not before) since it is easier to understand than using coupons or trigger points. If ecommerce is going to dig itself out of the mud embracing social/mobile will be a good first step.
Letting go of print catalog and bricks and mortar behavior online would be a great second step (though much harder to realize).