November 15, 2001, 12:00 AM

Online shopping rebounds; holiday shopping has started, comScore reports

For the first time this fall, weekly online spending, including retail and travel, exceeded $1 billion, comScore says. Travel still lagged below averages, but certain retail items, especially apparel, boomed.

Online holiday shopping appears to have begun, say the latest traffic measurement figures from comScore Networks Inc. For the first time this fall, weekly online spending, including retail and travel, exceeded $1 billion, comScore says.

Consumers spent $1.047 billion in the week that ended Sunday, with sales of hard goods increasing sharply at 10% above a pre-September benchmark period. Although travel purchasing continued at levels below average, the category did improve and posted nearly $400 million in sales for the week, its strongest showing since the September attacks.

comScore also for the first time released detailed analysis of the performance of key hard goods product groups, providing statistics for the average seven-day period prior to September and each of the following months.

Apparel and accessories, one of the largest non-travel categories, grew 19% over an average pre Sept. 11 week, outperforming the prior week`s 12% growth. The consumer electronics, computers and video games category held stable at 1% below average; within that group, however, video games posted very sharp growth. Combined with increases in the toy segment, these trends suggest that the online Holiday shopping season has begun.

"We appear to have crossed a breakthrough week on a number of fronts," says Dan Hess, comScore vice president. "First, online Travel sales grew even closer to levels we observed as the category grew sharply through the summer. And we`re clearly seeing signs that consumers have begun to spend more on categories associated with holiday gift-giving."

The comScore statistics are based on the online activity of a representative cross section of over 1.5 million Internet users, who have given comScore permission to confidentially and passively monitor their browsing and buying behavior.

Here’s what comScore reports for online spending in millions of dollars. All percent changes are relative to base period.

 

Total Travel Non-Travel
Base Period Average $999 $411 $589
Week ending
9/16/01 $693 -31% $222 -46% $471 -20%
9/23/01 $785 -21% $230 -44% $554 - 6%
9/30/01 $914 - 9% $365 -11% $549 - 7%
10/7/01 $908 - 9% $365 -11% $543 - 8%
10/14/01 $896 -10% $352 -14% $543 - 8%
10/21/01 $929 – 7% $341 –17% $588 0%
10/28/01 $974 – 2% $386 – 6% $588 0%
11/01/01 $956– 4% $372– 9% $584 -1%
11/11/01 $1,047 + 5% $399– 3% $648 +10%

 

 

 

ComScore also reported online dollar sales for an average week by these categories. Sales are in millions. All % changes are vs. base period



  BASE September October November
  5 Months Ending 8/31/01 Month Ending 9/31/01 & % change Month Ending 10/31/01 & % change Month Ending 11/11/01 & % change
Apparel & Accessories 88 79 -10% 99 12% 105 19%
Books 37 37 -3% 41 9% 34 -9%
Computer Software 15 14 -7% 16 7% 11 -28%
Consumer Electronics, Computers, Video Games 199 176 -12% 196 -2% 198 -1%
Event Tickets 32 23 -28% 28 -12% 24 -24%
Flowers & Gifts 12 7 -43% 7 -38% 7 -43%
Home & Garden 22 23 3% 23 6% 21 -5%
All Other Non-Travel Categories 185 175 -5% 169 -9% 194 5%

(a) Although online sales of Flowers & Gifts declined, major holidays such as Mothers` Day and Fathers` Day are included in the benchmark period and create naturally unfavorable comparisons.

(b) Early November data calculations include two weekends, which are historically low online sales days within the week.

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