Most Online Shopping Completed by December 16

Over half of online shoppers finished their shopping by December 16. That’s according to the “Holiday eSpending Report” jointly released by Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Nielsen//NetRatings and Harris Interactive.

Fifty-four percent of online shoppers wrapped up present buying by December 16. By December 9, only 37 percent of shoppers considered all gifts bought. As of December 16, 10 percent of shoppers had not yet begun to shop.

In total, holiday spending reached $25 billion, (excluding travel) between October 29 and December 16, the first seven weeks of the 2005 holiday season. The total accounts for a 25 percent increase for the same period last year.

Apparel accounted for the highest amount of spending with $4.7 billion in sales. Hardware and computer peripherals and consumer electronics each accounted for $3.7 billion in sales.

Online Shopping Categories by Online Revenue, October 29- December 16, 2005
Product Category Online Revenue (%) Online Revenue ($M)
Apparel/clothing 17 4,682
Computer hardware/peripherals 14 3,749
Consumer electronics 14 3,666
Books 10 2,605
Toys/video games (hardware and software) 7 1,905
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, 2005

Forty-five percent of consumers found their way to online retailers by typing in the URL or following a direct link. Search engines routed additional shoppers. Google accounted for 40.5 percent of searches for online stores; Yahoo for 20.9 percent.

Online shoppers were satisfied with their overall shopping experiences. Seventy-one percent said they were very or somewhat satisfied; only eight percent expressed any level of dissatisfaction with their experiences.

Overall Consumer Satisfaction by Percentage, Week of December 11, 2005
Satisfaction Level Consumers (%)
Very satisfied 49.7
Somewhat satisfied 21.4
Neutral 20.8
Somewhat dissatisfied 7.1
Very dissatisfied 1.0
Note: n=1,013.
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, 2005

The Holiday eSpending Report is based on a national survey of approximately 1,000 online adult consumers, capturing spending, attitudes and motivations of over 7,500 shoppers during the first seven weeks of the 2005 holiday season.

Data from comScore Networks‘s 2005 Online Holiday Shopping Update detail the first 51 days of the holiday shopping season, and include insight on the impact of the New York City transit strike on Internet shopping.

Online sales from November 1 to December 21 (the first 51 days of the holiday season) totaled $17.48 billion in sales, a 24 percent increase over last year’s $14.8 billion. The week ending Sunday December 18 saw a rise in sales of 29 percent over the corresponding week in 2004.

Online Holiday Spending, November 1-December 21, 2004 and 2005
2004 ($B) 2005 ($B) Change (%)
November 1 – December 21 14.08 17.48 24
Source: comScore, 2005

Online Non-Travel Consumer Spending, 2004 and 2005
2004 ($B) 2005 ($B) Change (%)
Year to date (through December 21) 64.7 80.2 24
Holiday season (November-December) 15.8 19.6* 24*
Q4 21.4 26.5* 24*
Full year 66.5 82.7* 24*
* Forecast data.
Source: comScore, 2005

When subways in New York City shut down due to a transit workers dispute, the Internet booted up for sales. Online sales in the immediate New York area shot up by 28 percent during the first two days of the transit strike. The city’s share of online spending rose from 3.4 to 4.4 percent of all online spending.

comScore data are taken from a global panel of more than two million consumers. The research firm obtains explicit permission to confidentially capture the browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing.

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