November 13, 2007

Holiday Online Spending to Grow Faster Than Traditional Retail in U.K., France and Germany

Over one third of online shoppers have already started holiday shopping

LONDON, U.K., NOVEMBER 13, 2007 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the results of a study of the online shopping plans of European consumers in the run-up to Christmas. The survey, which was conducted online between October 22 and 28 in the U.K., France, and Germany, revealed that while total retail spending for the holiday season will likely be up only slightly versus year ago levels, online spending is expected to grow strongly.

  • On average, 62 percent of respondents in the three countries expected to spend about the same on their Christmas shopping as they did last year, with 20 percent expecting to spend more and 18 percent expecting to spend less, indicating that total spend is likely to be up only slightly versus last year
  • However, 36 percent of respondents expect to spend more online on their Christmas shopping than they did last year while 50 percent expect to spend the same and only 14 percent expect to pay less.

“Online sales appear set to continue growing at a much faster rate than total retail sales and could be the difference between an ok Christmas and a great Christmas for some retailers.” said Bob Ivins, comScore EVP of International Markets. “The popularity of online shopping is set to reach an all time high this year, as time squeezed consumers - armed with high speed access and experience with the online channel – can be expected to spend more time shopping and buying Christmas gifts online.”

Is the amount you're planning to spend this year more, less or about the same as you spent last year?
  U.K. Germany France Average
More 19% 17% 24% 20%
Less 17% 22% 15% 18%
About the same 63% 61% 61% 62%


Is the amount you’re planning to spend ONLINE this year more, less, or about the same as you spent ONLINE last year?
  U.K. Germany France Average
More 43% 29% 38% 36%
Less 13% 15% 12% 14%
About the same 44% 56% 50% 50%

Over a third of online shoppers have already started their Christmas shopping

In the U.K., 48 percent of respondents said that they had already started their Christmas shopping, with a further 30 percent planning to start within the first two weeks of November. German shoppers were also quick off the mark, with 36 percent having already started their Christmas shopping and a further 38 percent intending to do so within the fortnight.

However, only 19 percent of French respondents claimed to have already started shopping for Christmas, with a further 38 percent planning to wait until December. French consumers were also found to be the most likely to still be shopping on Christmas Eve, with 7 percent saying that they would likely wait until the last minute.

When do you plan on starting your holiday shopping this year?
  U.K. France Germany Average
Already started 48% 19% 36% 34%
Within the next two weeks 30% 31% 38% 33%
In about a month 15% 38% 15% 23%
Two weeks before Christmas 4% 5% 8% 5%
I usually wait until the last minute! 5% 7% 3% 5%

The study also found wide divergence in online payment methods between the countries. Credit cards are by far the most popular form of online payment in France, while debit cards/bank transfers are the most popular in the U.K. and Germany. Preference for PayPal ranged from a low of 14% in France and Germany to a high of 20% in the U.K.

When doing your holiday shopping ONLINE, what method of payment do you plan to use most often?
  U.K. France Germany Average
Debit* 48% 5% 61% 38%
Credit 26% 76% 22% 41%
PayPal 20% 14% 14% 16%
Other 6% 5% 4% 5%

*In Germany, Debit payment facilitated by bank transfer; In France, Debit payment facilitated by cheque

About comScore

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given comScore permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. comScore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its proprietary technology, comScore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. comScore analysts apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. comScore services are used by more than 800 clients, including global leaders such as AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo!, BBC, Carat, Cyworld, Deutsche Bank, France Telecom, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Financial Times, ESPN, Fox Sports, Nestlé, Starcom, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, Verizon, ViaMichelin, Merck and Expedia. For more information, please visit

Ayaan Mohamud
comScore, Inc.
+ 44 (0) 207-099-1775

Tags: Holiday Shopping, Retail