Comscore 3Q Retail Call

I just completed listening to Gian Fulgoni @gfulgoni , Comscore Chairman, give their findings on Retail for 3Q 2009. Here are some notes and related thoughts.

Ecommerce sales are down Travel -6% and non Travel -1%

Seeing positive bottoming signs in the economy, but no positive growth

4Q08 was the first negative quarter ever for ecommerce

Not clear that stimulus programs continue to work after they are over, example Cash For Clunkers (Govt. spent $24K for each additional 125,000 total vehicle sales.)

Retail sales are stabilizing, not indicating growth

As mid to upper income are saving to regain wealth, they are cutting spending.

Ecommerce has more buyers, but they are spending less.

The number one concern is unemployment/jobs, number 2 is rising prices.

80% of the panel respondents don’t think that the economic situation will get better in 6 months.

Unemployment might be 20% (quoted rate is 10.2%) when you take into account the people that are working part time and would like to be full time and the others that have given up looking for work.

Pure play ecommerce companies are getting 6 in 10 dollars–the highest rate ever.

Buyers are shopping on multiple sites, leading to comparison shopping and price sensitivity.

Pay Pal is doing well, getting 10% of B2C transactions.

Could mobile be to ecommerce what broadband was to PCs?

Holiday Preview

Seeing more interest in going beyond the last click, looking at allocation of conversion.

Reasons for decreased spending this season, 50% “I have less money.” 20% “I am unemployed.”

Holiday Tactics for success:

Free Shipping

Layaway programs

Price Discounts

Social Media

Inventory management

Reduced Holiday staffing

Internet- increasing as a marketing channel.

Takeaways

Clear sign that we have hit bottom

Modest growth

Hopefully no more stock market meltdown.

Consumers are cautious

If you have not taken the time to listen to these quarterly calls, I found it extremely well worth my time, and an hour really well spent.

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