As a percentage of overall US retail sales, e-commerce sales slightly rose on a quarterly basis, from 3.6% to 3.7%. On an annual basis, they rose from 3.4%. In terms of dollar value, overall US retail sales totaled $922.2 billion. This represented a 1.7% increase from $906.4 billion in Q209 and a 7.5% decrease from $997 billion in Q308.
The retail industry has displayed a number of signals this year suggesting e-commerce is growing in popularity with consumers. Amazon.com, the leading “pure play” e-commerce retailer, reported strong Q309 results, with a 68% increase in net income and 28% increase in net sales, reports Retailer Daily.
In August, the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, introduced Wal-Mart Marketplace, a new program that expands its online product assortment to more than one million items. Walmart Marketplace enables a select group of retailers to offer additional products at Walmart.com, expanding Wal-Mart’s assortment in categories including home, baby, apparel, and sporting goods.
In addition, e-commerce sales appear to be taking over the movie rental marketplace. While poor in-store DVD rentals contributed to plunging same-store sales for consumer entertainment retailer Blockbuster in Q309, leading online movie rental retailer Netflix reported substantial increases in its revenues and subscriber base during the same period.
The struggling book retailer niche is even experiencing some success with e-commerce. Despite otherwise poor financial results, Barnes & Noble reported a 2% increase in online sales during its most recent fiscal quarter. Barnes & Noble and its chief competitor Borders have both launched a number of new e-commerce features this year.
In addition, several research studies suggest e-commerce sales have been going up this year. A new report from payment solutions provider CyberSource shows that online fraud losses for US and Canadian retailers are expected to drop 17.5%, from $4 billion to $3.3 billion. By eliminating nearly one-fifth of bad online transactions, online retailers have boosted their sales results.
In March 2009, a study from comparison shopping company PriceGrabber and Market Reporter, found that US consumers are reacting to the current economic crisis by doing more of their shopping online. The study also indicated online consumers are slowly becoming more willing to spend money.
More recently, the Shop.org Quarterly Online Sales Update showed that in Q309, 72% of online US retailers experienced increased sales.