E-commerce maintains its high growth in the U.S. – now $43 billion in Q2 2012 – an increase of 15 percent, according to a comScore report. That’s the seventh straight quarter of double-digit increases.

“While the second quarter’s 15-percent growth rate couldn’t quite match the especially high growth rate from the first quarter, it was nevertheless almost four times higher than the growth in overall consumer spending, a sign of continued strength in the e-commerce channel,” says comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.

“That said, although e-commerce remains strong, we are taking a cautious view of the second half of the year in light of some renewed signs of economic uncertainty and a stubbornly high unemployment rate,” he adds.

The study’s key findings:

  • The top-performing online product categories were: Digital content & subscriptions, consumer electronics, flowers, greetings & gifts, computer hardware and apparel & accessories. Each category grew at least 16 percent vs. a year ago.
  • 42 percent of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, representing a seasonal pullback from the Q4 2011 high of 52 percent.
Retail   E-Commerce (Non-Travel) Growth Rates
Excludes Auctions, Autos and Large Corporate Purchases
Total U.S. – Home & Work Locations
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%

“In fact, consumer perception of the economy has recently deteriorated, with 56 percent now viewing economic conditions as poor, up from a level of 49 percent three months ago,” says Mr. Fulgoni.

“So, even as commerce increasingly shifts to the online channel, any significant future pullback in overall consumer spending could dampen the strong double-digit growth rates we’ve been experiencing for the year-to-date,” he warns.

From the Coach’s Corner, see these information links: 

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-Jeff Eisenberg



Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.