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Posted Date: 2/8/2013

comScore: E-commerce Grew 15 Percent in 2012

comScore, Inc. released its Full Year and Q4 2012 U.S. retail e-commerce sales estimates. For the full year, U.S. retail e-commerce sales reached $186.2 billion, an increase of 15 percent – the strongest annual growth rate since before the recession. Q4 2012 sales grew 14 percent year-over-year to $56.8 billion, marking the first ever $50 billion quarter. It also represents the thirteenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

Retail E-Commerce (Non-Travel) Growth Rates

Excludes Auctions, Autos and Large Corporate Purchases

Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations (excl. Mobile)

Source: comScore, Inc.

Quarter

E-Commerce Spending
($ Millions)

Y/Y Percent Change

Q1 2007

$27,970

17%

Q2 2007

$27,176

23%

Q3 2007

$28,441

23%

Q4 2007

$39,132

19%

Q1 2008

$31,178

11%

Q2 2008

$30,581

13%

Q3 2008

$30,274

6%

Q4 2008

$38,071

-3%

Q1 2009

$31,031

0%

Q2 2009

$30,169

-1%

Q3 2009

$29,552

-2%

Q4 2009

$39,045

3%

Q1 2010

$33,984

10%

Q2 2010

$32,942

9%

Q3 2010

$32,133

9%

Q4 2010

$43,432

11%

Q1 2011

$38,002

12%

Q2 2011

$37,501

14%

Q3 2011

$36,308

13%

Q4 2011

$49,698

14%

Q1 2012

$44,282

17%

Q2 2012

$43,153

15%

Q3 2012

$41,936

15%

Q4 2012

$56,781

14%



"2012 was a year in which – for the most part – e-commerce continued to grow strongly, despite an uneven macroeconomic environment showing signs of recovery but also cause for continued concern," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "With e-commerce growth rates consistently in the mid-teens throughout the year, it is clear that 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. The only real blemish on an otherwise outstanding year for e-commerce was a holiday season that fell shy of initial expectations, apparently due to consumers' fiscal cliff concerns. To the extent that this pullback was just a temporary shock and not a sign of underlying economic weakness, we are optimistic that 2013 will build on the momentum of the past year."

Other highlights from Q4 2012 include:
  • The top-performing online product categories were: Digital Content & Subscriptions, Consumer Electronics, Toys & Hobbies, Apparel & Accessories, and Books & Magazines. Each category grew at least 15 percent vs. year ago.
  • U.S. Retail E-Commerce spending reached 10 percent of Total U.S. Retail spending for comparable categories (excluding Food, Gas & Auto), the first time it has reached double-digits.
  • The 14-percent year-over-year growth of retail e-commerce spending in Q4 was driven by a 6-percent increase in the number of buyers and an 8-percent increase in spending per buyer.

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