News / Research and Intelligence

US Online Retail Growth Remains Strong… For Now

comScore report reveals US online retail sales have grown 15 percent year-on-year

Recent research by comScore reveals that US e-commerce spending for Q2 reached a total of $43.2 billion – that’s a 15 percent rise in year-on-year growth – but how long can it last?

Market research firm comScore has released its US retail e-commerce sales estimates for the second quarter of this year, demonstrating that the industry is continuing to grow at an exceedingly healthy rate.

According to comScore, online retail spending reached $43.2 billion for the quarter, which is a 15 percent gain for the same period last year. That makes this the eleventh consecutive quarter of positive growth and seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

comScore’s Retail E-commerce Growth Rates exclude travel purchases, auctions, automobiles and large corporate purchases.

  • Q2 2007 – $27.18 billion (23% growth)
  • Q2 2008 – $30.58 billion (13% growth)
  • Q2 2009 – $30.17 billion (-1% growth)
  • Q2 2010 – $32.94 billion (9% growth)
  • Q2 2011 – $37.5 billion (14% growth)
  • Q2 2012 – $43.2 billion (15% growth)

comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said in a press release that, while the Q2 growth didn’t quite match that of the first quarter (17 percent), it “was nevertheless almost four times higher than the growth in overall consumer spending, a sign of continued strength in the e-commerce channel”.

“That said, although e-commerce remains strong, we are taking a cautious view of the second half of the year in light of some renewed sign of economic uncertainty and a stubbornly high unemployment rate.”

Fulgoni points out that US consumer sentiment is increasingly poor, with 56 percent now viewing wider economic conditions as unfavourable – up from 49 percent in the last quarter.

“Even as commerce increasingly shifts to the online channel, any significant future pullback in overall consumer spending could dampen the strong double-digit growth rates we’ve been experiencing for the year-to-date,” he said.

However, with the American end-of-year holiday period and ensuing sales bonanza creeping up, even low consumer sentiment couldn’t stop the industry from turning over some big money – it may even help boost online spending further.

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