More Online Shoppers Drove a Spike in E-Commerce Spending Last Quarter

E-commerce spending hit $37.5 billion in the second quarter, up 14 percent from a year ago despite signs of a weak economy.

ComScore said this represented the third consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates, which are being fueled by more Americans choosing to shop online. The number of online buyers was up 16 percent, compared to the year-ago period.

Some 70 percent of all Internet users in the U.S. made at least one purchase during the second quarter.

This quarter’s numbers shouldn’t be a big shock since Amazon surprised Wall Street by reporting a 51 percent year-over-year surge in sales, despite the second quarter typically being the slowest period of the year.

ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said almost $1 of every $10 in discretionary spending is now occurring online. “E-commerce’s benefits of convenience and lower prices continue to be the drivers of the shift,” he added.

Other highlights from the quarter:

  • The top-performing categories that grew by at least 15 percent compared to 2010 were: Consumer electronics, computer hardware, software and event tickets.
  • Small and mid-sized retailers continued to gain market share, with the top 25 online retailers accounting for 66.4 percent of dollars spent online, down from 67.7 percent a year ago.
  • The second quarter represented the seventh consecutive quarter of positive gains year over year. The last time spending online decreased was in the third quarter of 2009.
Photo Credit: thisisbossi.

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