Online Holiday Shopping to Exceed $15 Billion This Year According to Comscore Forecast

Online Holiday Spending Will Grow 23% to 26% Compared to Last Year’s Season

RESTON, Va., Nov. 10, 2004 – Comscore Networks today released its forecast of online consumer spending for the 2004 holiday season. Comscore reports that consumer spending on non-travel goods at U.S. Web sites will exceed $15 billion during the November through December holiday season, representing growth of approximately 23% to 26% over the 2003 season. Comscore also expects that total quarterly non-travel spending will cross the $20 billion threshold for the first time in Q4 2004.

Non-Travel Online Consumer Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Source: Comscore Networks


(in billions)


(in billions)

Percentage Change
Year-to-date (through Oct 17) $38.7 $48.2 25%
Holiday Season (November/December) $12.3 $15.1-15.5* 23-26%*
Q4 2004 $16.7 $20.7-21.1* 24-26%*
Full Year $52.9 $65.8-66.2* 25%*

*Comscore Networks forecast

“We believe consumers’ growing familiarity and confidence with online shopping, coupled with a dramatic increase in broadband penetration and continuing efforts by retailers to simplify the shopping process across channels, will translate to substantial gains for online merchants again this year,” said Dan Hess, senior vice president of Comscore Networks. “While forecasted growth will be slightly lower this season than last, online retailers will still close the year up about 25 percent compared to 2003 – an impressive accomplishment given mixed signals of consumer confidence and a soft economy in general.”

“At the category level, we continue to see strong growth in Jewelry & Watches, Furniture, Appliances & Equipment and Home & Garden products, indicating a continued shift to online buying in categories that were traditionally only bought offline,” explained Mr. Hess. “Aside from the growth in direct online spending, we’ll also continue to see the substantial impact on offline retail sales of consumers’ use of the Internet to research products and compare prices.”

Fastest Growing Product Categories
Year-to-Date through September
Excludes Auctions, Large Corporate Purchases and Office Products
Source: Comscore Networks


(in million)


(in millions)

Percentage Change
Jewelry & Watches $443 $739 67%
Furniture, Appliances & Equipment $1,083 $1,707 58%
Computer Software (ex. PC Games) $857 $1,228 43%
Flowers, Greetings & Misc Gifts $782 $1,118 43%
Home & Garden $1,058 $1,352 28%

As in past years, Comscore will track online shopping behavior and regularly release data throughout the holiday season. To request these and other consumer research updates, please visit

About Comscore Networks
Comscore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given Comscore explicit 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 patent-pending technology, Comscore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. Comscore consultants 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 global leaders such as AOL, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Nestlé, Bank of America, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, GlaxoSmithKline and Orbitz. For more information, please visit

Bill Daddi
Daddi Brand Communications