E-Commerce Spending Up 17%

    May 9, 2012
    Mike Fossum
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Internet marketing research company comScore released its first quarter, 2012 U.S. internet retail sales estimates today, recording a 17% sales increase over last year, totaling roughly $44.3 billion. The latest numbers mark the tenth instance where quarter-over-quarter sales have risen.

comscore q1

comScore cites that in Q1, 2012, digital content and subscriptions, computer software, consumer electronics, jewelry and watches and event tickets were the most popular online product purchases. Also, 48.8% of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, the highest ever outside of a holiday shopping season. During the Q1 period, 38% of tablet users bought something online, with clothing being the most popular items. While its been reported that many retailers lack online storefronts optimized for shopping via a tablet device, U.S. consumers have come to expect a sort of integrated shopping experience, spanning smartphones, tablets, desktops and physical, brick-and-mortar retail storefronts. Online retail for tablet optimization is advancing, and a higher percentage of tablet-based purchases should be expected.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni states, “The first quarter of this year was especially strong for retail e-commerce as we returned to year-over-year growth rates in the high teens, numbers we haven’t seen since 2007 – While the economic recovery continues to be painfully slow, the channel shift to e-commerce 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.”

An undesired effect of a sort of digital window shopping are instances of consumers using brick-and-mortar showrooms to get a hands-on look at items they’d shopped for online. This practice is one of the reasons why Best Buy has been closing stores. Customers have begun plainly using big box locations as a place to test drive products they plan to buy online anyway, for usually cheaper.

  • http://www.last7studios.com Christopher T Wowak

    First and foremost I am encouraged by this article. The article validates what we in the web design field have been saying and anticipating for years and years however I think it is very important and relevant to state that these gains did not happen by businesses simply being online. To be able to share in this market growth you have to build your online presence the right way with reasonable expectations. I realize that since most of the people that read this article are involved in web development of some sort that this point goes without saying but my biggest fear is that someone not in the industry might read this and think “great I just need a website and I will make money”. Trust me I meet clients that think this every day. A big challenge for us in the industry is getting the client to understand that web design is not a one and done process. Building a website is just the beginning. Just like any other business you have to constantly manage the website and how it engages your customers. You have to spend time and money on marketing and search engine optimization to make sure your customers are going to the website. You have to make sure the website can engage your customers so that it can close the sale. The article is very promising but don’t let the fact that e-commerce is up give you a false sense of security so that you run in and invest in online business before you know what is truly involved in that success. See a professional and spend some time getting to know all that is involved in building an online presence.