Press Release

comScore Reports Q3 2009 U.S. E-Commerce Spending Down 2 Percent vs. Year Ago

42 Percent of E-Commerce Transactions in Q3 Included Free Shipping

comScore to Host Webinar on Q3 2009 E-Commerce Review and Forecast for 2009 Holiday Season on Thursday, November 12

RESTON, VA, November 5, 2009 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released its Q3 2009 retail e-commerce sales estimates, which showed that U.S. online retail spending totaled $29.6 billion, down 2 percent versus year ago. Q3 2009 represents the first time on record that consecutive quarters have seen negative e-commerce spending growth compared with the same quarter the year prior.

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%
Q1 2009 0%
Q2 2009 -1%
Q3 2009 -2%

“The third quarter showed negative marginal growth for the second consecutive quarter – the first time on record we’ve witnessed sustained dips in U.S. e-commerce spending, small though the declines may be,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “The good news is that these declines may finally be in our rear view mirror, as we anticipate marginally positive growth for the fourth quarter. With retailers gearing up for the online holiday shopping bonanza, and a fourth quarter that will include easier comparisons against year ago, we are hopeful that this Christmas season will be merrier than the last.”

Join Mr. Fulgoni as he presents an update of the state of the U.S. online retail economy through Q3 2009 in a live webinar on Thursday, November 12 from 2 - 3 p.m. EST/1 - 2 p.m. CST/11 a.m. - noon PST. Webinar registration details are below.

Free Shipping a Must-Have Incentive for Retailers in 2009 Holiday Season

Over the past few years, free shipping has become a particularly critical incentive for stimulating online purchase behavior, and its importance has increased considerably during the recent economic downturn. The past several quarters have seen the percentage of e-commerce sales transactions including free shipping increase from 31 percent in Q1 2008 to 42 percent in Q3 2009.

E-Commerce Free Shipping Analysis
Q1 2008 – Q3 2009
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: comScore, Inc.
  Share (%) of E-Commerce Transactions
Free Shipping Paid Shipping
Q1 2008 31% 69%
Q2 2008 34% 66%
Q3 2008 35% 65%
Q4 2008 38% 62%
Q1 2009 37% 63%
Q2 2009 43% 57%
Q3 2009 42% 58%

“Free shipping has become an increasingly essential promotion in the e-commerce marketer’s toolkit,” added Mr. Fulgoni. “With more than 40 percent of all e-commerce transactions now including free shipping, it’s clear that consumers respond favorably to this incentive and in many cases have come to expect it from retailers. The retailers who do not offer free shipping deals this holiday season may find themselves at a significant disadvantage versus those who do.”

Webinar Series: State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy through Q3 2009

The webinar presentation will include an overview of changes in consumers’ online spending patterns through Q3 2009 (with a preview of October 2009 e-commerce spending), survey findings that highlight consumer sentiments regarding the economy in 2009, as well as an analysis of spending patterns across key product categories, retailer sectors and consumer demographic segments. The webinar will also include a forecast of the critical 2009 holiday online shopping season.

To register for the webinar, please visit:

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

Andrew Lipsman
comScore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510