Weekly Online Retail Sales Break Through $2 Billion Mark, comScore Reports

Friday 19 December 2003 10:52 CET | News

comScore Networks has released late-breaking online retail spending data for the week ending Sunday, December 14, 2003. Online retail sales to consumers, excluding travel and auction purchases, closed at $2.11 billion last week.

This represents growth of 28 percent versus the same week last year and reflects the highest level of weekly non-travel spending recorded to date. In fact, the weeks ending Sunday, December 7 and December 14 are the first weeks on record to top $2 billion in online retail sales. Online retail sales in the season to date (11/1/03 through 12/14/03) are up approximately 29 percent over last year to $9.4 billion. Sales since Thanksgiving have totaled $4.8 billion, an increase of 26 percent versus $3.8 billion for the same period in 2002. Online Retail Spending Excludes Travel and Auctions 2002 Spending 2003 Spending (in millions) (in millions) % Change January - October $33,290 $39,783 20% November $4,056 $5,257 30% Thanksgiving to Date $3,787 $4,773 26% Season to Date $7,266 $9,381 29% Week Ending Sun., Dec 14/15 $1,641 $2,107 28% Full Season (2003 forecast) $9,688 $12,100-$12,600 25-30% The long-term growth picture is similarly impressive, as reflected in the comScore Historical Online Buying Index (HOBI), which measures the relative growth of online spending since 2001 (when the index was set at 100). Based on comScores holiday season forecast, the comScore HOBI is on track to top 150 for this years holiday season. comScore Holiday Survey Consumers and retailers are, to some degree, engaged in a game of chicken with regard to holiday shopping and pricing, according to a study conducted by comScore Survey Solutions between December 5 and December 8. The study yielded a number of insights into consumer perception of retailers pricing strategies, including: - A majority (56 percent) of respondents believed retail prices would continue to drop before the end of the holiday season. - Of those expecting prices to drop, fully 64 percent thought that the best prices would be found in the very last days leading up to Christmas, and 44 percent stated they would be likely or very likely to hold off a significant portion of their spending until they felt the best prices could be found. - Respondents most often cited retailers desire to avoid having unsold inventory (59 percent) and that retailers had set a precedent by dropping prices in past years (54 percent) as reasons to expect a drop in retail prices this year. Key Drivers of E-Commerce Growth The substantial growth of online holiday shopping this year can be attributed to a number of factors, including: - Broader base of buyers: While more mature every year, the Internet population continues to grow, providing a larger base of potential online shoppers. In November 2003, the active U.S. Internet population exceeded 151 million users, according to comScore Media Metrix. - Broadband penetration on the rise: The number of home broadband users has increased by more than 30 percent in the past year, with 34 percent of home users now using a high-speed connection. comScore research has shown that broadband users are at least 50 percent more likely than narrowband users to complete an online purchase in a given month. - Purchase frequency and value increase with tenure: As consumers gain experience shopping online they spend more often and in greater amounts. The base of experienced shoppers grows every year, fueling a shift in

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce