Shoppers Ring Up $8.5B in November 2003

Shoppers got busy during November 2003 by spending 55 percent more online than they did in the same period last year. Among the most popular items consumers spent their $8.5 billion were videos and DVDs, books, music, and toys and video games (hardware and software).

The findings, based on a collaborative report from Goldman, Sachs & Co., Harris Interactive, and Nielsen//NetRatings, revealed that while shoppers spent the most money on apparel/clothing during November 2003 — $1.6 billion — videos and DVDs showed the highest growth over last year — 133 percent.

Books accounted for $761 million in online spending during November 2003, an increase of 61 percent from a year ago, and the music category registered a 57 percent increase, to the tune of $402 million.

According to a survey from Yahoo! and Harris Interactive, more than one-quarter of all employed adults with online access in the U.S. will be doing some of their holiday shopping online at the office in 2003 — and 56 percent say their bosses are aware of the desk side shopping excursions.

By region, 33 percent of working adults in the Northeast report they are likely to shop online from work. The other regions were the South: 29 percent, West: 23 percent and the Midwest: 26 percent. Men and women are nearly equal in their likelihood to holiday shop online from work: 29 percent of men and 26 percent of women reporting they shop online for gifts at work.

As a concession to shopping during the workday, 57 percent of respondents who will holiday shop online at work will do so during the lunch hour or when they’re on break. Another 24 percent report they are likely to stay late at work to shop online. This appears to be more common among people who are single (29 percent) versus among married folk (only 19 percent).

The survey also revealed that the 35-44 age group is the most active, with 36 percent indicating they intend to do some holiday shopping from work, those in the 45-54 age group shop online to avoid crowded shopping areas.

An AvantGo survey of more than 1,000 users during October 2003 offered insight as to how PDA owners planned to spend their holiday dollars this year. Not surprisingly, 76 percent purchased consumer electronics online during the last year, and 73 percent planned on giving consumer electronics as gifts for the holidays. The majority (42 percent) reported that they would buy a PDA, PDA games, or PDA accessories for themselves, while only 15 percent put the items on their lists for significant others.

Measurements from Hitwise indicate that shopping and classifieds sites account for nearly 6 percent of all U.S. Internet traffic, growing more than 10 percent since July 2003. Furthermore, the shopping and classifieds category attracted nearly 12 percent of all U.S. page requests in October 2003 — an increase of roughly 5 percent from July.

Other relevant findings from Hitwise include:

  • Nearly 28 percent of traffic to shopping and classifieds sites came from search engines and directories.
  • During October 2003, the top 10 shopping and classifieds sites accounted for 40 percent of all visits to the category.
  • The majority of visits to retail Web sites come from California, Texas and New York.

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