January 16, 2002, 12:00 AM

ComScore’s final numbers show 20% year-to-year growth in e-spending

Retail spending reached $33.7 billion last year, up from 2000’s $28 billion, comScore Networks reported today. Including travel, online spending hit $53 billion.

Online consumer retail spending in 2001 grew 20% over 2000, comScore Networks Inc. reported today. Retail spending reached $33.7 billion for the year, up from 2000’s $28 billion. The retail spending figure does not include travel spending or auction purchases.

With travel spending included, online spending reached $53 billion last year.

As the online channel becomes more mainstream, its activity mirrors the real world: a full 24% of the online purchases occurred in November and December, reflecting trends in overall retail purchasing. ComScore reports that an average weekend day brings $97 million in sales, but the average weekday is a full 60% greater, at $155 million, due to increased shopping activity at work-based PCs.

ComScore says quarterly retail sales broke down as follows:

Q1: $7.755 billion
Q2: $7.585 billion
Q3: $7.565 billion
Q4: $10.8 billion


Travel spending broke down as follows:
Q1: $3.727 billion
Q2: $4.892 billion
Q3: $5.735 billion
Q4: $5 billion


ComScore reports that the highest sales day of the year was the peak of online holiday shopping, Dec. 12, when consumers spent $321.6 million. The lowest sales day of the year was Jan. 1. The strongest weekend of the year also occurred during the holidays: Dec. 15-16 rang up $341.1 million in sales, 132% greater than the average weekend.

Including travel, the various categories of spending had the following shares of online spending:

Travel: 36%
Computer and hardware: 15%
Apparel and accessories: 10%
Office: 8%
Consumer electronics: 6%
Books: 4%
Event tickets: 3%
Home and garden: 2%
Music: 2%
Health and beauty: 2%
All others: 12%


ComScore also reported that 15% of total dollar sales at U.S. e-commerce sites are to web users residing outside of the U.S. “For retailers of categories in which international sales drive substantial revenue, this presents noteworthy opportunities and considerations in marketing strategy and product mix, driven by a more detailed understanding of worldwide category consumers,” said Daniel E. Hess, comScore vice president.

The top categories for international buyers at U.S.-based e-retailing sites were as follows. The percentages measure the proportion of total sales in each category that originated with non-U.S. buyers.
Movies and videos: 34%
Computer software: 30%
Music: 26%
Furniture and appliances: 20%
Books: 19%
Jewelry and watches: 18%
Video games: 17%
Gift certificates and coupons: 16%
Consumer electronics: 14%
Travel: 12%


ComScore also reported the following interesting information:
· Residents of the Northeast U.S. spend more overall, driven by more frequent buying.
· A greater percentage of broadband users buy online vs. dialup users. These users spend 14% more per buyer, and buy more often. Broadband users constitute 38% of visitors but half of dollars. The broadband measure includes home and work users.
· College graduates and post-graduate degree holders constitute only 24% of visitors, but spend 32% of U.S. online dollars.
· Smaller households spend more on average than larger households.
· Families in which the age of the head of household is 45-54 spend the most per buyer, at 7% above average.
· The percent of Americans age 65+ who buy online is on par vs. the total population, but these older online shoppers buy less often and spend less when they do.
· Households earning $75K+ per year comprise 33% of the U.S. population – but spend 43% of total U.S. online dollars.
· A smaller percentage of U.S. Hispanics buy online vs. the total population, but those Hispanics that do shop online spend 7% more than average when they do.
· Asian Americans spend more per buyer than any other group.

ComScore`s sales figures are based on the buying activity of a representative and massive cross-section of more than 1.5 million Internet-using individuals, who have given comScore permission to confidentially monitor their browsing and buying behavior.


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