ComScore: E-Commerce Sales Soared 19 Percent This Season

Written by Evan Schuman
December 30th, 2007

The industry seems to be of two minds whether this holiday season was a boom or a bust, giving further evidence that stats can be interpreted almost any way the analyst wants to.

ComScore on Sunday gave its latest snapshot of E-Commerce sales this holiday season and reported a 19 percent boost compared with the identical period last year. Looking at Nov. 1-Dec. 27, it found nearly $28 billion spent.

Even post-Christmas numbers looked good, ComScore said. "For example, the day after Christmas saw online sales of $545 million, more than double the sales on the same day last year," said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. "This would appear to indicate that consumers were willing, and able, to take advantage of the attractive late-season promotions and price discounts offered by retailers this year."

Slicing and dicing the figures can change the context further. The $27.96 billion in sales was what ComScore reported for the full season, but Thanksgiving Day ’07 compared with Thanksgiving Day ’06 showed a 29 percent increase.

That might be influenced by the growth in residential broadband. In years past, the so-called Black Friday spike happened on Friday morning, as people reported back to work and used corporate broadband connections to start shopping. Now, more consumers can start in right after the pumpkin pie while still at home (or even hitting their Treo or iPhone while pretending to listen to a random in-law).

The sharpest rise in the ComScore numbers came in the one-day Dec. 10 to Dec. 10 comparison, which showed an impressive 33 percent increase.

Fulgoni said these numbers are especially favorable when various external factors–ranging from global warming temperatures to a weak housing market and rising gas prices–are thrown into the eggnog mix.

"Warm weather during the early part of November took its toll on online retail sales, and played a role in holding down the growth in spending over the entire holiday season to a 19-percent rate, which is below last year’s level of 26 percent," Fulgoni said. "However, if we look at the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we see online spending growing at a healthier 21-percent rate, which I think is encouraging given the economic challenges facing consumers this year as a result of higher gas prices, lower home values and a jittery stock market."


Comments are closed.


StorefrontBacktalk delivers the latest retail technology news & analysis. Join more than 60,000 retail IT leaders who subscribe to our free weekly email. Sign up today!

Most Recent Comments

Why Did Gonzales Hackers Like European Cards So Much Better?

I am still unclear about the core point here-- why higher value of European cards. Supply and demand, yes, makes sense. But the fact that the cards were chip and pin (EMV) should make them less valuable because that demonstrably reduces the ability to use them fraudulently. Did the author mean that the chip and pin cards could be used in a country where EMV is not implemented--the US--and this mis-match make it easier to us them since the issuing banks may not have as robust anti-fraud controls as non-EMV banks because they assumed EMV would do the fraud prevention for them Read more...
Two possible reasons that I can think of and have seen in the past - 1) Cards issued by European banks when used online cross border don't usually support AVS checks. So, when a European card is used with a billing address that's in the US, an ecom merchant wouldn't necessarily know that the shipping zip code doesn't match the billing code. 2) Also, in offline chip countries the card determines whether or not a transaction is approved, not the issuer. In my experience, European issuers haven't developed the same checks on authorization requests as US issuers. So, these cards might be more valuable because they are more likely to get approved. Read more...
A smart card slot in terminals doesn't mean there is a reader or that the reader is activated. Then, activated reader or not, the U.S. processors don't have apps certified or ready to load into those terminals to accept and process smart card transactions just yet. Don't get your card(t) before the terminal (horse). Read more...
The marketplace does speak. More fraud capacity translates to higher value for the stolen data. Because nearly 100% of all US transactions are authorized online in real time, we have less fraud regardless of whether the card is Magstripe only or chip and PIn. Hence, $10 prices for US cards vs $25 for the European counterparts. Read more...
@David True. The European cards have both an EMV chip AND a mag stripe. Europeans may generally use the chip for their transactions, but the insecure stripe remains vulnerable to skimming, whether it be from a false front on an ATM or a dishonest waiter with a handheld skimmer. If their stripe is skimmed, the track data can still be cloned and used fraudulently in the United States. If European banks only detect fraud from 9-5 GMT, that might explain why American criminals prefer them over American bank issued cards, who have fraud detection in place 24x7. Read more...

Our apologies. Due to legal and security copyright issues, we can't facilitate the printing of Premium Content. If you absolutely need a hard copy, please contact customer service.