RESTON, Va. — ComScore reported that online retail spending reached $44.3 billion for first quarter 2012, up 17% from the year-ago period.
ComScore said retail e-commerce sale estimates represented the tenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. Additional findings included:
48.8% of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, the highest percentage for a quarter on record outside of the holiday season;
When it came to mobile shoppers, ComScore found that 38% of tablet owners have made a purchase on their devices within the past month.
"The first quarter of this year was especially strong for retail e-commerce as we returned to year-over-year growth rates in the high teens, numbers we haven't seen since 2007," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said. "While the economic recovery continues to be painfully slow, the channel shift to e-commerce appears to be accelerating. This presents opportunities but also challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers if they can't hold onto their offline market share in the digital world. E-commerce has reached critical mass in several product categories, and it will be important to monitor these sales trends by category in order to correctly gauge the impact e-commerce is having on overall retailer performance."