Online retail sales continue positive trend

Up 14% since year-ago period

RESTON, Va. — Online U.S. retail spending in second quarter 2011 reached $37.5 billion for the quarter, up 14% versus a year ago, ComScore reported Monday. This growth rate represented the seventh consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates.

"The second quarter of 2011 saw a continuation of this year's solid double-digit growth trends in online spending, well ahead of the rate of growth in consumers' overall spending," ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said. "It's clear that consumers are continuing to shift to the online channel, with almost $1-in-every-$10 of discretionary spending now occurring online. E-commerce's benefits of convenience and lower prices continue to be the drivers of the shift."

According to ComScore:

  • The top-performing online product categories were consumer electronics (excluding PC peripherals), computer hardware, computer software and event tickets. Each category grew at least 15% versus the year-ago period;

  • The top 25 online retailers accounted for 66.4% of dollars spent online, down from 67.7% a year ago and down from a peak of 69.9% in third quarter 2010, as small and mid-sized retailers continued to regain lost market share; and

  • The 14% growth in the quarter primarily was a function of an increase in the number of buyers (up 16%), with 70% of all Internet users making at least one online purchase in the quarter.

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