Press Releases

February 12, 2009

U.S. Retail E-Commerce Declines 3 Percent in Q4 2008 versus Year Ago but Sales for Full Year Grew By 6 Percent

comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni to Present Update on E-Commerce Trends through January 2009 in Upcoming Webinar

RESTON, VA, February 12, 2009 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its Q4 2008 retail e-commerce sales estimates, which showed that online retail spending declined 3 percent versus year ago, the first recorded quarter of negative growth since comScore began tracking e-commerce spending in 2001. Nonetheless, for the full year 2008, retail e-commerce grew 6 percent to $130.1 billion, but representing a substantially lower growth rate than in previous years.

“The fourth quarter rounded out what was a particularly challenging year for online retailers,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “The financial market meltdown that began in the fall dramatically reduced consumers’ discretionary spending power, resulting in the first quarter of negative growth that we’ve observed. As we enter 2009 with rising unemployment and continued economic uncertainty, the first few months of the year will be especially critical in foretelling what 2009 has in store for the online retail sector.”

Join Mr. Fulgoni as he presents an update of the state of the U.S. online retail economy through January 2009 in a complimentary, live webinar on Thursday, February 19 at 12:00 PM EST/11:00 AM CST. Webinar registration details are below.

Retail E-Commerce Quarterly Growth Rates Slip Throughout 2008

A review of quarterly retail e-commerce growth rates depicts the slowdown in the U.S. retail economy during the past two years. Throughout much of 2007, quarterly growth rates remained in the vicinity of 20 percent. However, beginning with Q1 2008 the growth rates began to de-accelerate, culminating in a 3-percent decline in the final quarter of 2008.

Retail E-Commerce (Non-Travel) Growth Rates Excludes Auctions, Autos and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Quarter Y/Y Percent Change
Q1 2007 17%
Q2 2007 23%
Q3 2007 23%
Q4 2007 19%
Q1 2008 11%
Q2 2008 13%
Q3 2008 6%
Q4 2008 -3%

Video Games Ranks as Top Growing Online Retail Category in 2008

The fastest-growing retail category in 2008 was video games, consoles & accessories (up 29 percent vs. 2007), which continued to benefit from online sales of popular game consoles like the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3. Other fast-growing categories included home, garden & furniture (up 25 percent) and sport & fitness (up 25 percent), both of which benefitted from an increasing consumer willingness to complete major consumer purchases, such as furniture and home exercise equipment, online. Two of the largest online retail categories, consumer electronics (up 9 percent) and apparel & accessories (up 4 percent) both managed to grow positively in 2008, while several other categories were not as fortunate.

Top Growing Retail E-Commerce Categories in 2008
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Full Year 2008 vs. 2007
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
Retail Category Y/Y Percent Change
Video Games, Consoles & Accessories 29%
Home, Garden & Furniture 25%
Sport & Fitness 25%
Event Tickets 13%
Consumer Electronics 9%
Apparel & Accessories 4%
Computer Hardware -5%
Toys & Hobbies -7%
Books & Magazines -8%
Flowers, Greetings & Gifts -10%
Office Supplies -10%
Jewelry & Watches -12%
Computer Software (excl. PC Games) -18%
Music, Movies & Video -23%

Webinar Series: State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy through January 2009
The webinar presentation will include an overview of changes in consumers’ online spending patterns from 2007 through January 2009, survey findings that highlight consumer sentiments regarding the economy heading into 2009, as well as an analysis of spending patterns across key product categories, retailer sectors and consumer demographic segments.

To register for the complimentary webinar being held on Thursday, February 19 at 12:00 PM EST/11:00 AM CST, please visit: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/567757843.

About comScore

comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.