Unseasonably Warm Temperatures Contribute to Softer Online Spending Growth During Back Half of the Week
RESTON, VA, December 2, 2012 – Comscore (NASDAQ : SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 30 days of the November–December 2012 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, $20.4 billion has been spent online, marking a 15-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week saw three individual days eclipse $1 billion in spending, led by Cyber Monday, which became the heaviest online spending day on record at $1.46 billion. Tuesday, November 27 reached $1.26 billion, while Wednesday, November 28 reached $1.11 billion. Monday and Tuesday of this past week currently rank as the two heaviest online spending days in history, with the Tuesday total slightly outpacing that of Cyber Monday 2011.
*Corresponding days based on corresponding shopping days (November 3 thru December 2, 2011)
“Cyber Monday kicked off Cyber Week with a record spending total of $1.46 billion, but the ‘sugar high’ appears to be somewhat short-lived,” said Comscore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “While we still saw three billion dollar days this week, growth rates dampened following the peak demand of the Thanksgiving-to-Cyber Monday promotional period. This is a similar pattern to what we observed last year. In addition, unseasonably warm weather throughout many parts of the country may have given consumers some added impetus to shop in-store rather than rely on online shopping.”
Free Shipping Remains Important Driver of Online Holiday SpendingMore than half of e-commerce transactions during each of the past three weeks of the holiday season have included free shipping, with a peak of 57 percent during the week ending Sunday, November 25. During the first five weeks of the holiday season, consumers spent an average of 42 percent more on free shipping transactions than on paid shipping transactions, including a 51-percent higher average order value during the week ending November 25.
*Includes first five days of the week through Friday, November 30, 2012
“Though retailers must often sacrifice margins when they provide free shipping, they benefit because consumers tend to spend significantly more on those transactions,” added Mr. Fulgoni. “Consumers may either be responding to the minimum spending thresholds needed in order to receive free shipping, or figure that as long as they know they’re receiving free shipping it might be worth adding another item or two to their shopping basket.”
Smartphones & Tablets Drive Online Retail Product Category Growth for Season-to-DateIncreasing adoption of smartphones and tablets continues to be a strong driver of product category sales during the online holiday shopping season. The top-gaining category for the season-to-date is Digital Content & Subscriptions, which includes digital book, music and video downloads, which has grown 25 percent versus year ago. The Consumer Electronics category, despite softening growth in flat panel TV sales, ranks 4th at 17 percent growth, largely on the strength of smartphone sales. The Computer Hardware category is seeing gains of 15 percent on the strength of tablet sales, despite traditional laptop and desktop computers posting more modest gains. Other categories currently performing well include Toys (up 21 percent), Consumer Packaged Goods (up 18 percent) and Video Game Consoles & Accessories (up 16 percent).
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