For the final final, comScore Networks just released holiday season and annual online spending figures for full year 2005, concluding that total Internet spending for the full year, including travel, reached $143.2 billion, up 22 percent over the $117.2 billion spent online in 2004.
Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman, said "... this was clearly another very strong year for e-commerce.... a 24 percent annual increase in online spending represents more than a full percentage point of consumers' expenditures, clearly showing that the traditional metric alone, retail same-store sales, is no longer sufficient to paint an accurate picture of trends in consumer spending."
Online non-travel spending during the 2005 holiday season (November 1 through December 31, 2005) totaled $19.6 billion, representing a 25-percent increase over the corresponding period in 2004. Online travel spending generated an additional $8.6 billion during November and December.
Online Consumer Spending ($ Billions)
Holiday Season (Nov & Dec)
Source: comScore Networks Excludes auctions and large corporate purchases
Apparel and Accessories was one of the fastest growing categories in 2005, rising 36 percent above 2004 sales to $12.2 billion. Consumers' increased comfort in purchasing online led to strong performance in a broad range of products.
Non-Travel Online Consumer Spending Sales Growth for Selected Product Categories
% Change Full Year 2005 vs. 2004
Apparel and Accessories
Computer Software (excludes PC Games)
Home & Garden
Toys & Hobbies
Jewelry & Watches
Flowers, Greetings & Gifts
Source: comScore Networks Excludes Auctions and Large Corporate Purchases
As a reference point, the Goldman, Sachs, Nielsen//NetRatings, and Harris Interactive eSpending 2005 Report says that, while traditional brick-and-mortar stores continued to hold the majority of the 2005 holiday spending, it has dropped 10 percentage points from 2002 while the online sales channel rose 11 percentage points, garnering 27 percent of total budgets this year.
Heather Dougherty, senior retail analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings, said "E-commerce is gaining ground among consumers during the holiday season due to its convenience, product selection and lower prices... holiday shoppers are diligent about finding the best price. The continued popularity of search engines highlights the ease of researching product selection and availability, and with a longer shopping season, it was much easier to wait for additional price reductions."
Distribution of Holiday Spending, Aggregated Seasonal Average
Source: Goldman, Sachs, Nielsen//NetRatings, and Harris Interactive eSpending Report, December 2005
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