E-commerce spending rose 14 percent in the fourth quarter over last year, according to Reston, Va.–based research firm ComScore Inc., which said spending reached $49.7 billion.
The increase represents the ninth consecutive quarter of growth and the fifth of double-digit growth in online spending, ComScore said.
Overall, U.S. online spending reached $161.5 billion, marking a 13 percent increase over 2010. Among the top five performing categories were jewelry and watches. (The other four were digital content and subscriptions, consumer electronics, toys and hobbies, and computer software.)
“The fourth quarter of 2011 capped off what was yet another strong year for online retail, one in which every quarter achieved double-digit increases versus the prior year,” said ComScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. “In the face of continuing uncertainty regarding the U.S. economy, consumers increasingly went online for their shopping needs. Price and convenience continue to be the critical value drivers for e-commerce, and unless those conditions change, we can expect to see more channel shifting to online in 2012 and, perhaps, even an acceleration in the current growth trend.”
According to ComScore, 52 percent of online transactions included free shipping. (In 2010, 49 percent of all transaction included free shipping.)
For more information: http://www.apparelnews.net/news/retailing/020912-E-Commerce-Spending-Hits-161-5-Billion-According-to-ComScore