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E-retail Spending Up 15 Percent in 2012

13 Feb, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

RESTON, Va. – U.S. online shoppers spent $186.2 billion on E-retail purchases in 2012, up 15 percent from 2011, comScore Inc. reports. It adds that E-retail sales in fourth-quarter 2012 jumped 14 percent year over year to reach $56.8 billion.

Gian Fulgoni, comScore chairman, says E-commerce grew strongly last year despite an uneven macroeconomic environment showing signs of recovery but also cause for continued concern. “It’s clear the online channel has won over the American consumer and will increasingly be relied upon to deliver on the dimensions of lower price, convenience and selection,” he says.

Total retail sales were less robust. Excluding sales of automotive vehicles and parts, they increased just 4.9 percent, according to U.S. Department of Commerce. Non-store retail sales increased 11.6 percent – those sales come from retailers that sell to consumers mainly via the Web but also through catalogs and TV. The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its detailed E-retail spending estimates for the full year 2012 and its fourth quarter on Friday.

Besides the overall E-retail figures, comScore also said that during the fourth quarter of 2012:

  • Online sales in the following product categories increased at least 15 percent year over year: digital content and subscriptions; consumer electronics; toys and hobbies; apparel and accessories; and books and magazines.
  • The 14-percent increase in spending came from a 6-percent increase in the number of buyers and an 8-percent increase in the spending per buyer.
  • U.S. online spending reached 10 percent of total U.S. retail spending, excluding food, gas and automotive – the first time E-retail has reached double digits.

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