comScore released some hard-hitting facts and figures on the state of the US Retail Economy in the First Quarter of 2010.
Before I delve into highlighting the takeaway, let me start with these two thoughts if you’re not sure you want to read on:
Two Myths –
A) Social Media audience is all young people with no money
B) Low ad clickthrough rates means low performance
Two Facts –
A) Social networking site users spend 1.5x more online than the average internet user
B) CPMs on social networking sites 5x less than average Internet CPM
The Low-Down on the State of Our Economy –
1) e-Commerce continues to gain share of retail spending (and peaks in colder seasons), reaching 8.1% by end of Q1-2010
2) e-Commerce sales in Q1-2010 were up 6% compared to a year ago (travel up 2% and non-travel up 10%)
3) e-Commerce showed double-digit growth for the first time since Q2 2008.
4) Strong pre-Easter sales in March this year, where buying dropped a month later in April.
5) Website visitation grew 12% in April versus a year ago (though some large retailers experienced in single- to double-digit declines in unique visitors in April).
6) “March surge in spending was propelled by savings, which drove the personal savings rate down to 2.7% of after-tax incomes, the lowest level since September 2008.” – Associated Press, May 3, 2010
7) “If one subtracts the stimulus effect and the boost from changing inventories – also a temporary factor – there’s been no recovery at all. Growth in the first and second quarters of 2010 would be zero.” – WSJ Blog, May 15, 2010
8) U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis just revised GDP down from 3.2% to 3.0% for Q1 2010.
9) Economists say it takes about 3% growth in GDP to create enough jobs just to keep up with population growth. Growth would have to be about 5% for a full year just to drive the unemployment rate down by 1 percentage point.” – Associated Press, April 30, 2010
10) Consumers have found themselves “trading down” to cope with decreased spending power; instead of buying their favorite brands, they cope with other less-expensive brands; the degree of impact varies by product category
11) The use of Coupons is coming on strong, where 29 million people visited a coupon site in April 2010 (led by coupons.com, retailmenot.com and eversave.com)
12) Consumers choose “Free Shipping” as their most important cost-saving measure, followed by sale items and no tax.
13) The larger the retailer, the more attractive the incentives such as free shipping & discounts are.
14) Men are much more likely to buy from pure-play retailers (i.e. single-channel retailer like Amazon.com)
15) Flash Sale sites like IDEELI.com, GILT.com, HAUTELOOK.com and RUELALA.com continue to grow and their users spend several times more than average online.
16) 23% of Twitter users follow businesses and retailers to find special deals, promotions or sales, or use Twitter for product reviews & opinions.
17) Some retailers like Teleflora (48%), Levi Strauss (33.5%) and SnorgTees (29.6%) are spending relatively more on Social Media display advertising.
18) It’s official: Facebook & Twitter visitors spend more money online than average.
(Courtesy of comScore‘s State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q1 2010 presented by comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni)