NEW YORK -- It was the year smartphones saved Santa.

As expected, numbers out Friday from research firm comScore confirmed mobile shopping, which includes smartphones and tablets, jumped in November and December, spurring on holiday retail sales this year.

Total online spending during November and December rose 13 per cent to $69.08 billion from $61.29 billion last year, slightly short of the 14 per cent rise comScore, based in Reston, Virginia, was expecting.

Spending on desktops rose 6 per cent to $56.43 billion, also short of comScore's expectations of an 8 per cent rise to $58.3 billion.

But mobile commerce helped make up some of that shortfall. Shopping on smartphones and tablets jumped 59 per cent to $12.65 billion, well above the 47 per cent rise comScore was expecting.