eCommerce Sales Down From Last Year

    August 10, 2009
    Chris Crum

comScore has released its Q2 retail eComerce sales estimates, which indicate that US online retail spending totaled $30.2 billion, which is 1% less than the same period last year. This is only the 2nd time eCommerce spending has been lower for the same quarter than the previous year.

"The marginally negative growth in Q2, on the heels of flat growth in Q1, signals that online retail spending has yet to turn the corner after a disappointing end to last year," says comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "Unfortunately, it appears that the reality of nearly 10-percent unemployment and rising gas prices, coupled with an increased savings rate, continues to hold down consumers’ discretionary spending and it may still take some time to dig our way out of this recession."

Here are a couple of charts from comScore worth checking out:

comScore Chart

comScore Chart

As you can see, the fastest growing category for the quarter was Toys & Hobbies, which grew by 21% from the previous year. This was followed by Books & Magazines, and Video Games, Consoles & Accessories.

It’s not entirely surprising that online sales are down from a year ago, considering the changes in the economy that have taken place in that time. Necessities (like groceries) are still mostly bought offline. Typically, I think people tend to shop for things that aren’t truly "needs" when they do their online shopping, and so it makes sense that these sales would fall in tough times.

If anything, it simply highlights the importance of good marketing strategy for eCommerce businesses. Not only are you dealing with a damaged economy, but there is a lot of competition online.