According to comScore, a firm well-known for its web analytics and measurement of the ecommerce industry, U.S. online shoppers spent more than $44 billion in the first quarter of the year – pretty staggering numbers. Even more staggering when you consider that those numbers come close to pre-recession growth in spending, at least according to the comScore study.
The Q1 spending marks the 10th consecutive quarter of positive year-on-year growth, and the sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, comScore’s report claims. This translates to a 17 percent increase from the same quarter last year.
“The first quarter of this year was especially strong for retail ecommerce as we returned to year-over-year growth rates in the high teens, numbers we haven’t seen since 2007,” said Gian Fulgoni, Chairman, comScore. “While the economic recovery continues to be painfully slow, the channel shift to ecommerce appears to be accelerating. This presents opportunities but also challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers if they can’t hold onto their offline market share in the digital world. Ecommerce has reached critical mass in several product categories, and it will be important to monitor these sales trends by category in order to correctly gauge the impact ecommerce is having on overall retailer performance.”
ComScore’s press release pointed out other Q1 highlights such as:
– The top-performing online product categories were: digital content and subscriptions, computer software, consumer electronics, jewelry and watches and event tickets. Each category grew at least 17 percent vs. a year ago.
– 48.8 percent of ecommerce transactions included free shipping, the highest percentage for a quarter on record outside of the holiday season. Only Q4 2011 (51.8 percent) and Q4 2010 (49.3 percent) have been higher overall.
– 38 percent of tablet owners have made a purchase on their devices within the past month. Apparel was the most popular category for purchase among tablet shoppers.
Good news retailers, good news indeed!