Final Tally: US Retail E-Commerce Spend Up 15% in 2012

February 8, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Retail & E-Commerce

comScore-retail-ecommerce-Q1-2007-Q4-2012-feb2013Retail e-commerce spending grew by 15% year-over-year in 2012 to reach $186.2 billion, according to figures from comScore. In Q4, sales grew by 14% year-over-year (mirroring the holiday season’s growth rate), topping $50 billion for the first time in a quarter ($56.8 billion). That increase was fueled by a 6% gain in the number of buyers and an 8% rise in per-buyer spending. Total e-commerce spending has now increased on a year-over-year basis for 13 consecutive quarters, including double-digit growth for the past 9.

Breaking down some of the findings from Q4, comScore reveals that the fastest-rising product categories were: digital content and subscriptions; consumer electronics; toys and hobbies; apparel and accessories; and books and magazines. Each category showed at least a 15% increase from Q4 2011.

Two categories in particular – digital content and subscriptions and consumer electronics – were top performers throughout each quarter of the year.

Finally, retail e-commerce spending hit 10% of total retail spending (for comparable categories – excluding food, gas, and auto), the first time it has reached that mark.


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