Surfing Through Life Changes: Comscore Report Details Consumers’ Heavy Reliance on the Web During Major Life Events

Report Based on Newly Updated Audience insite Measures Tool

RESTON, Va., April 18, 2005 – Comscore Networks today released an analysis of Internet usage by consumers who have recently experienced significant life events, such as getting married or buying a home. The analysis provided new details of consumers’ heavy reliance on the Web to provide information related to the changes in their lives.

“While the Web has long since woven itself into the fabric of daily life, consumers are increasingly reliant upon online resources to ease and inform major life events,” said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of Comscore Media Metrix. “For marketers, particularly those looking to reach consumers at pivotal points in their lives, such as planning a marriage, buying a home, or having a baby, few media can match the Web’s ability to facilitate communications keyed to an individual’s specific needs.”

Comscore’s analysis* was conducted using the recently released Winter 2005 edition of Audience insite Measures (AiM), a Comscore Media Metrix product. AiM is the only syndicated consumer analysis tool to combine consumer-reported lifestyle data and passively observed online behavior at more than 30,000 Web sites. The foundation of the AiM system is an extensive lifestyle and product usage survey fielded to Comscore panelists, which is integrated with Comscore’s online behavioral observation at the respondent level. By using this methodology, AiM provides more accurate and granular insight than is available from tools that rely on consumers to recall their Internet behavior.

The report analyzes the online behavior of three consumer segments:

  • “Online Expectants” – Consumers who have created or accessed a baby registry (online or offline) in the past six months
  • “Engaged Buyers” – Consumers who have gotten engaged or married in the past six months or who will get married in the next six months
  • “Movers & Shoppers” – Consumers who have reported buying their first home or moving more than 100 miles in the last six months

The report found, for example, that out of the 10 Web site categories with the highest relative composition of Online Expectants, seven are Retail subcategories – a clear indication of this group’s purchase propensity. Not surprisingly, the Toys subcategory tops the ranking, with a 62-percent greater relative composition of Online Expectants than the overall population. The Department Stores, Home Furnishings and Books subcategories also rank highly, likely driven by Online Expectants shopping for apparel, furniture and educational content to prepare for the new arrival. Consumers in-market for baby products are also disproportionately likely to visit the Fragrances & Cosmetics and Jewelry, Luxury Goods & Accessories subcategories.

Considering the costs involved with having a baby, it’s not surprising that Online Expectants are likely to turn to the Coupon category in search of discounts. For marketers looking to reach this segment, direct marketing sites such as Coolsavings.com and Eversave.com may represent attractive opportunities.

Top Ten Categories by Composition Index – Online Expectant Segment
AiM Winter 2005 Release
Source: Comscore Media Metrix AiM
  Composition Index
Retail – Toys 162
Retail - Fragrances/Cosmetics 144
Retail - Dept. Stores 127
Retail - Home Furnishings 123
Health – Pharmacy 120
Family 120
Coupons 119
Retail - Flowers/Gifts/Greetings 118
Retail – Books 117
Retail - Jewelry/Luxury Goods/Accessories 116

Note: Composition index is the propensity of a specific segment to visit a category or property compared to the average Internet user. An index of 100 represents parity. An index of 162 can also be read as “62 percent more likely than average.”

*Marketing industry professionals and members of the media may request the report by sending an e-mail to press@comscore.com.

About Audience insite Measures
Audience insite Measures (AiM) is the industry’s leading consumer analysis and online media planning tool. AiM is the only service to combine more than 4,600 in-depth lifestyle, product usage, and demographic characteristics with continuously observed behavior measurement across more than 30,000 online entities.

AiM is delivered as a component of the MyMetrix reporting platform, and is produced using the Client Focus Dictionary, a hierarchy that consistently defines and reports online entities. This integrated approach, consistent with other Comscore Media Metrix applications, provides users with the advanced capabilities of the AiM database while maximizing efficiency and ease of analysis.

About Comscore Media Metrix
Comscore Media Metrix, a division of Comscore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report – with unmatched accuracy - details of online media usage, visitor demographics and online buying power for the home, work and university audiences across local U.S. markets and across the globe. Comscore Media Metrix continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix syndicated Internet ratings - long recognized as the currency in online media measurement among financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers - while drawing upon Comscore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements. All Comscore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies.

About Comscore Networks
Comscore Networks provides unparalleled insight into consumer behavior and attitudes. This capability is based on a massive, global cross-section of more than 2 million consumers who have given Comscore explicit permission to confidentially capture their browsing and transaction behavior, including online and offline purchasing. Comscore panelists also participate in survey research that captures and integrates their attitudes and intentions. Through its patent-pending technology, Comscore measures what matters across a broad spectrum of behavior and attitudes. Comscore consultants apply this deep knowledge of customers and competitors to help clients design powerful marketing strategies and tactics that deliver superior ROI. Comscore services are used by global leaders such as AOL, Yahoo!, Verizon, Best Buy, The Newspaper Association of America, Tribune Interactive, ESPN, Nestlé, Bank of America, Universal McCann, the United States Postal Service, GlaxoSmithKline and Orbitz. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.

Contact:
Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510
press@comscore.com



 

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