Strong Spending Continues Through Most Recent Work Week to Maintain 4-Percent Growth Rate for Season, Despite Slightly Disappointing Sales on Green Monday
RESTON, VA, December 20, 2009 - Comscore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 48 days of the November - December 2009 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, $24.8 billion has been spent online, marking a 4-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week began on a slightly disappointing note, with sales of $854 million on Green Monday (Dec. 14, 2009) down 1 percent versus year ago, but was followed by three strong spending days that each surpassed $800 million. Most notably, Tuesday, December 15 set an individual day spending record with $913 million, the first such day to surpass the $900 million threshold.
*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 2 thru December 19, 2008)
"Going into this most recent week, we had anticipated that Monday or Tuesday would post the highest online spending total of the season and perhaps be the first day on record to surpass $900 million," said Comscore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "Despite a disappointing start to the week, with sales on Monday of $854 million down 1 percent versus 2008, we were encouraged to see spending continue strongly throughout the balance of the work week, led by Tuesday's record $913 million. In fact, each day through Thursday December 17 - the last day that many online retailers would guarantee free shipping in time for Christmas - saw at least $800 million in spending, which suggests that savvy consumers may have been waiting for those last-minute deals."
Nine Individual Spending Days in 2009 Surpass $800 Million in Spending
With the heaviest online spending days of the season now likely behind us, Tuesday, Dec. 15 will rank as the heaviest online spending day of the year at $913 million, one of nine individual spending days to surpass $800 million. Cyber Monday (Monday, Nov. 30) currently stands in second place with $887 million, the highest it has ever ranked on this list.
"In a typical year, Cyber Monday tends to be the eighth to tenth heaviest spending day, but this year it moved higher up the list than ever before," added. Mr. Fulgoni. "In part, this is due to the fact that the day fell fairly late in the season, so that pent up consumer demand likely boosted its performance, but also because of the increasing marketing hoopla and promotional activity that surround the day."
The third heaviest spending day of the year was Tuesday, Dec. 1 with $886 million in spending, followed by Wednesday, Dec. 16 with 874 million and Green Monday (Monday, Dec. 14) rounding out the top five with $854 million.
*Green Monday occurs on the Monday with at least 10 days prior to Christmas and tends to be the heaviest online spending day of the season.
Free Shipping Remains Critical Driver of 2009 Holiday Shopping
Comscore's analysis of online transactions reveals that free shipping remained an important driver of online shopping throughout the 2009 holiday season. During each week, at least 45 percent of all transactions included free shipping, outpacing the corresponding week in 2008. The peak occurred during the week ending Dec. 6, with 50 percent of all transactions including free shipping.
The average order value for online transactions peaked at $117 during the week ending Nov. 29, 2009 and week ending Dec. 6, 2009, also outpacing the corresponding weeks in 2008. For the week ending Nov. 29, the average order value for transactions including free shipping was $124 while the average order for those without free shipping was $111. For the week ending Dec. 6, the average order value for transactions including free shipping was $134 while the average order for those without free shipping was a much lower $103. This suggests that free shipping offers can be used creatively by retailers to incent consumers to spend more per order.
*Week ending Dec. 20, 2009 data only includes five days ending Dec. 18 for 2009
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