Retail E‑Commerce Growing as Consumers Shift to Online Channel

U.S. online spending hit $37.5 billion in the second quarter of this year, up 14% from the same quarter in 2010, reports comScore. The Internet marketing research company said the growth rate represents the seventh consecutive quarter of positive year-​over-​year growth and third consecutive quarter of double-​digit growth rates. 

ComScore attributes the increase to a growth in online shoppers — up 16% — with 70% of all Internet users making at least one purchase in the quarter.

It’s clear that consumers are continuing to shift to the online channel, with almost $1 in every $10 of discretionary spending now occurring online," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "E‑commerce’s benefits of convenience and lower prices continue to be the drivers of the shift.  At the same time, we are constantly reminded of an overall macroeconomic situation that is not indicative of a strong recovery. With economic growth remaining soft, the unemployment rate stubbornly high and financial markets in turmoil, consumers are less optimistic today than they have been in preceding quarters, which raises concerns for the future. We believe the third quarter will be an important indicator of which direction this economy is really headed and what that will mean for consumer spending.”

The top-​performing product categories online were consumer electronics, computer hardware and software and event tickets, each of which grew at least 15% from a year ago. ComScore also reported that the top 25 online retailers accounted for 66.4% of dollars spent online, down from 67.7% a year ago. It attributed this to small and medium-​sized retailers regaining lost market share.

[Source:  Research conducted by comScore.  8 Aug. 2011.  Web.  13 Aug. 2011.]