Retail E-commerce Spending Rises 10% Year-over-year
comScore estimates indicate that US retail e-commerce spending from home, work and university locations totaled $33.98 billion in Q1 2010. This represents a 10% increase from $31.03 billion in Q1 2009 and a 13% decrease from $39.05 billion in Q4 2009. The strong year-over-year acceleration marks the first time annual growth rates have hit double digits since retail e-commerce sales rose 13% in Q2 2008.
Upper Income Households Spur Growth
Although Q1 2010 returned the US retail e-commerce market to double-digit growth, comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said there is no guarantee this growth will continue.
“While these spending gains provide reason for optimism, we should note that upper-income households are currently shouldering much of the growth,” said Fulgoni. “Should the economy falter in the second half of the year and upper-income consumers return to a savings mode, we could still see growth decelerate. But for the time being, this momentum is encouraging.”
Other Q1 Highlights
Growth in the first quarter was predominantly driven by upper-income consumers, with spending among the $100,000-plus household income segment up 14%.
Pure play (online-only) retailers continued to gain e-commerce spending market share from multichannel retailers.
Larger online retailers continued to generate higher growth rates than smaller retailers, but the smaller retailers are finally beginning to see positive growth once again.
Census Bureau Produces Different Q1 E-commerce Results
Adjusted US e-commerce sales totaled $38.7 billion in Q1 2010, a 1.5% increase from $38.1 billion in Q4 2009, according to estimates (using different metrics) from the US Census Bureau. However, removing seasonal adjustments, Q1 2010 e-commerce sales were $36.6 billion, an 18.9% decrease from $42 billion in Q4 2009. On a year-over year unadjusted basis, Q1 2010 e-commerce sales increased 14% from Q1 2009 and accounted for 4.1% of total sales of $897 billion in Q1 2009.
About the Data: Retail e-commerce growth rates exclude the travel, auction, auto and large corporate purchase segments.