Heavy Online Spending Continues Later into the Season but Fails to Make Up for Compressed Holiday Shopping Schedule this Year

$859 Million in E-Commerce Spending on Monday, December 15 Ranks as Second Heaviest Spending Day this Season

RESTON, VA, December 21, 2008 – Comscore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported its tracking of holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 49 days of the November – December 2008 holiday season. For the holiday season through December 19, $24.03 billion has been spent online, down 1 percent versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week of the season has seen several strong online spending days, including Monday, December 15 with $859 million in spending to rank as the second heaviest day of the season, behind Tuesday December 9 when $887 million was spent.

2008 Holiday Season To Date vs. Corresponding Days* in 2007
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.
Holiday Season to Date Millions ($)
2007 2008 Pct Change
November 1 – December 19 $24,151 $24,029 -1%
Dec .1 (Cyber Monday) – Dec. 19 $12,667 $12,849 1%

*Corresponding days based on equivalent shopping days relative to Thanksgiving (October 27 – December 14, 2007)

“With five fewer days of holiday shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, there is increasing pressure on consumers to make their holiday purchases in time for Christmas,” said Comscore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “As a result, we’ve seen online shoppers continue to spend heavily even later into the season, with the most recent week including four of the top ten spending days of the season. Despite this positive development, the combination of the compressed holiday schedule and the challenging economic situation faced by many consumers means that retailers have their work cut out for them this season.”

This year’s holiday season from Thanksgiving through December 19 has seen average online spending per day of $643 million, 5 percent higher than last year. However, the core holiday shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year is actually 16 percent shorter than last year, which underscores one of the key challenges facing retailers this season: an inability to increase daily sales at a rate sufficient to compensate for fewer shopping days.

Thanksgiving – December 19 Online Holiday Spending per Day
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.
  2007 2008 Percent Change
Average Spending ($ Millions) per Day since Thanksgiving thru Dec. 19 $615 $643 5%
Number of Shopping Days between Thanksgiving and Christmas 32 27 -16%

Top 10 Online Spending Days for Holiday Season to Date

For the online holiday shopping season-to-date (thru Dec. 19), Tuesday, December 9 ranks as the heaviest individual spending day of the season with $887 million in sales. Monday, December 15 ranks second with $859 million, followed by Monday, December 1(Cyber Monday) with $846 million. With the heaviest online spending days of the season likely to have already occurred, Cyber Monday 2008 will rank significantly higher in relative spending than it has in previous years. For example, Cyber Monday ranked as the ninth heaviest spending day in 2007 with $733 million in sales and the twelfth heaviest in 2006 with $608 million in sales.

Top 10 Online Spending Days of 2008 Holiday Season to Date
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.
Day Dollars Spent ($ Millions)
Tuesday, December 9 $887
Monday, December 15 $859
Monday, December 1 (Cyber Monday) $846
Tuesday, December 2 $823
Wednesday, December 10 $803
Wednesday, December 17 $799
Monday, December 8 $787
Thursday, December 18 $764
Tuesday, December 16 $754
Wednesday, December 3 $734

Top Performing Retail Categories Since Cyber Monday

The fastest growing product categories during the period from December 1 through December 19 were Sport & Fitness (up 31 percent), Books & Magazines (up 18 percent), and Video Games, Consoles & Accessories (up 17 percent). Apparel & Accessories, the second largest online retail category by dollar sales, has seen sales grow strongly (up 15 percent) as a result of retailers’ aggressive discounting and unseasonably cold weather across many parts of the country. Following a strong week of Cyber Monday, that was driven by large discounts on products such as flat screen TVs, sales of consumer electronics have slowed significantly in recent weeks. The softest retail categories include Music, Movies & Videos (down 24 percent), Office Supplies (down 19 percent), Jewelry & Watches (down 17 percent) and Home, Garden & Furniture (down 16 percent).

Growth in Dollar Sales of Retail E-Commerce Categories Since Cyber Monday
Non-Travel (Retail) Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Dec. 1- Dec. 19, 2008 vs. Corresponding Shopping Days in 2007
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.
Retail Category Y/Y Percent Change in Category Sales
Sport & Fitness 31%
Books & Magazines 18%
Video Games, Consoles & Accessories 17%
Apparel & Accessories 15%
Flowers, Greetings & Gifts 13%
Computer Hardware -3%
Computer Software (Excl. PC Games) -6%
Toys -7%
Consumer Electronics -9%
Event Tickets -13%
Home, Garden & Furniture -16%
Jewelry & Watches -17%
Office Supplies -19%
Music, Movies & Videos -24%

Comscore’s Summary of 2008 Holiday Online Retail Spending by Key Time Period

Online Non-Travel (Retail) Holiday Consumer Spending
Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore, Inc.
  Millions ($)
2007 2008 Pct Change
January – October $93,551 $102,144 9%
Comscore Holiday Season Forecast (Nov-Dec) $29,169 $29,200** 0%**
November 27 (Thanksgiving Day)* $273 $288 6%
November 28 (Black Friday)* $531 $534 1%
December 1 (Cyber Monday)* $733 $846 15%

* Versus Corresponding Shopping Day in 2007 Relative to Thanksgiving

**Forecast

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.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

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