eCommerce forges ahead in spite of the recession!

Sat, 11th August 2012, 12:28

The latest numbers from comScore reinforce that it not only the US Federal deficit that's growing.  U.S. retail e-commerce sales numbers shows that second quarter online retail spending reached $43.2 billion for the quarter, up 15 percent versus year ago. This represents the eleventh consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

“While the second quarter’s 15-percent growth rate couldn’t quite match the especially high growth rate from the first quarter, it was nevertheless almost four times higher than the growth in overall consumer spending, a sign of continued strength in the e-commerce channel,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

comScore Reports $43.2 Billion in Q2 2012 U.S. Retail E-Commerce Spending. Chart includes historical data from prior quarters 

The comScore report includes the obligatory disclaimer stating that "although e-commerce remains strong, we are taking a cautious view of the second half of the year in light of some renewed signs of economic uncertainty and a stubbornly high unemployment rate",  the chart highlights how e-commerce continued to gain strength in recent years despite dismal performance in every other sector of the economy.

HostJury has written a number of post over the years that highlight the global trends towards an even stronger e-commerce sector  than that seen in the USA marketplace.  While the relative strength of the overall economy may factor into forecasting future growth, adverse economic conditions has actually spured growth as consumers look for ways to stretch their income. The overall acceptance of online shopping along with the relative ease and low entry barriers associated with creating an online businesses will continue to drive the growth of eCommerce. 

  • Besides the traditional e-commerce setups like EBay and Magento, there are now numerous companies such as Yahoo Merchant Solutions and Shopify providing out of the box, quick and easy e-commerce solutions along with tools and tips to easily promote your business in the marketplace.
  • more payment options (are you listening PayPal!)
  • greater broadband coverage and speeds
  • a mobile market  saturation that continues to revolutionize daily life
  • streamlining of distribution models will continue to widen the price gap between eCommerce and the traditional marketplace 

Other highlights from Q2 2012 include:

  • The top-performing online product categories were: Digital Content & Subscriptions, Consumer Electronics, Flowers, Greetings & Gifts, Computer Hardware and Apparel & Accessories. Each category grew at least 16 percent vs. year ago.
  • 42 percent of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, representing a seasonal pullback from the Q4 2011 high of 52 percent.