Europe Embraces Holiday Shopping Online
This week, comScore Networks released the first in its latest series of studies geared at examining the online shopping activity of European citizens throughout the holiday season.
The initial data shows that French retail sites experienced the largest gains in the first three weeks of the holiday seasons, highlighted by a 79 percent increase in online shopping traffic for the week ending November 26th versus the pre-holiday average.
Retail sites in the United Kingdom experienced a 65-percent increase, and German sites saw a 63-percent escalation in the most recent week compared to pre-holiday levels
Amazon drew 10 percent of French and U.K. shoppers, as well as 12 percent of German online consumers. Apple Computer drew 7 percent of French shoppers, 5 percent of U.K. shoppers, and 4 percent of German users.
“While cyber shopping visits rose most quickly in Germany during the first week of the holiday shopping season, online shoppers in France have since become more active,” said Bob Ivins, managing director of comScore Europe.
“These gains show that consumers armed with high-speed access and positive online retail experiences are increasingly comfortable shopping online.”
Ivins continues, “As online spending continues to grow and account for a larger percentage of total consumer spending, the growth in online shopping could be the difference between a good Christmas and a great Christmas for many online retailers.”
Metrical analysis of the United States and Europe show trends of increased spending in online retail from last year, and the rate of transition from traditional to online shopping isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The larger question, however, lies in what all these numbers actually mean? How do you gauge these metrics to gain insight into actual user behavior rather than just dollars spent online?
Why are shoppers spending more time online rather than in traditional retail marketplaces? Is it just a matter of price, or does product availability and comfort factor into the equation as well?
If marketers are truly serious about gearing their advertising campaigns in contextually relevant ways, it will be important to ask the “why” question more and more in response to studies like this which reflect statistics, but give little insight into gauging consumer intent.