EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2803 - May 14, 2012     3 of 4

ComScore Says Shift to Online Spending Accelerates in First Quarter

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Online retail spending reached $44.3 billion in the first quarter of 2012, up 17 percent versus year ago, according to ComScore. This represents the tenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

It was the highest first-quarter growth rate since 2007, which also saw a 17% growth rate.

ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said that while the economic recovery continues to be painfully slow, the channel shift to ecommerce 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."

The top-performing online product categories in the first quarter were: Digital Content & Subscriptions, Computer Software, Consumer Electronics, Jewelry & Watches and Event Tickets.

ComScore also reported that 48.8 percent of ecommerce transactions included free shipping, the highest percentage for a quarter on record outside of the holiday season. Only Q4 2011 (51.8 percent) and Q4 2010 (49.3 percent) have been higher overall.

And the research firm revealed that according to its Q1 2012 Retail survey, 38 percent of tablet owners had made a purchase on their devices within the past month - apparel was the most popular category for purchase among tablet shoppers.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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