PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- Just as you have shoppers who'd rather hit the local holiday markets than the malls this time of year, there's a select group of online shoppers that likes to stick to their small sites and cling to their best-kept secret.
ComScore (SCOR) is already predicting that the $37.2 billion spent online last holiday season will grow this year by 17%, to $43.4 billion. Shoppers have given them little reason to think otherwise by increasing their online Thanksgiving spending 32% from $479 million in 2011 to $633 million this year. Black Friday shopping put 26% more stuffing in Santa's sack this year by boosting online spending from $816 billion last year to $1.04 billion during this year's event. Amazon (AMZN) came out on top yet again, but Wal-Mart (WMT), Best Buy (BBY), Target (TGT) and Apple (AAPL) all rounded out the top five.
All together, the 38% of American consumers who did their holiday shopping online in 2004 has grown to more than 52% this year, according to surveys from the National Retail Federation. Meanwhile, the percentage of those shunning online shopping has dropped to 16.5% from 23.5% during that span. Free shipping offers and online coupons help, but so do mobile devices that make it easy to place an online order without being tethered to the desk or couch.
The big names still grab the largest slice of the holiday pie, but even small online retailers can find a spot in a stocking or beneath a tree if their wares are worthy enough. The following 10 sites help put some thought back into holiday shopping and give gifts more memorable than a cleaned-out online wish list: