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May 10th, 2012, 04:24 PM #1First quarter e-retail growth nears pre-recession levels
Even with the recession eCommerce will logically increase as consumers increase their trust of ordering online. Also merchant find reduced costs in selling online versus staffing brick and mortar stores.
Online shoppers spent more than $44 billion during the first quarter, says comScore, a 16.6% increase over Q1 2011. It was the highest year-over-year growth rate comScore has observed since late 2007.
Online retail sales increased about 16.6% in the first quarter, to nearly $44.3 billion compared with $38.0 billion for the same period on 2011, comScore Inc. said today. The Q1 spending marks the tenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, the web measurement firm says.
“While the economic recovery continues to be painfully slow, the channel shift to e-commerce appears to be accelerating,” says comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “This presents opportunities but also challenges for bricks-and-mortar retailers if they can’t hold onto their offline market share in the digital world.”
The comScore report today also says that e-commerce spending increased by at least 17% year over year in the following product categories: digital content and subscriptions; computer software; consumer electronics; jewelry and watches; and event tickets.
During the first quarter of 2012, nearly half, or 48.8%, of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, the highest percentage comScore has recorded outside the holiday shopping seasons. The firm says it has observed higher rates for free shipping only in the fourth quarter of 2011, when 51.8% of orders carried no shipping charges, and the fourth quarter of 2010, at 49.3%.
ComScore also noted in the report that it had surveyed tablet owners during the first quarter and found that 38% of them said they had made a purchase on their tablet within the past month. The most popular type of product? Apparel.
ComScore makes estimates of e-commerce sales based on tracking the online behavior of some 2 million consumers who agree to be tracked, about half of them in the U.S.
At the Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition 2012, Fulgoni will speak in a session entitled “Identifying the consumers’ sweet spot.”
May 10th, 2012, 04:30 PM #2
Yesterday my wife decided to purchase an HP laser printer from BestBuy rather than online as she wanted to get her BestBuy reward points. HP had a $50 instant rebate and free shipping so she took the ad to the store. The first staff she talked to told her they wouldn't honor the rebate so she asked for a manager. The manager was happy to offer the discount to match the price. Needless to say it took him an hour to add it to the only register in the back room as it wasn't in stock. She ended up paying the full price plus tax (its for a 501C non-profit) and he promised to remove those when she picked it up. He was very polite but this was a bit ridiculous and she will order online next time.
My illustration is an example of why consumers are turning to the web to order commodity products. Why bother with the hassle to buy local when dealing with minimum wage employees and bad technology?
May 16th, 2012, 01:49 AM #3
I'm wary of buying online. I feel it's unsafe and would rather buy from the local store, but I find myself doing it more and more these days. You just can't top the convenience online shopping provides. Aside from that, there's a lot of things you can get online. Some are available *only* through online stores. So, why go through the hassle of driving to the mall and lining up to pay?
May 16th, 2012, 12:05 PM #4
I was out with the family yesterday at a large local mall. As we waled past store after store made me wonder how much hassle they get if there are online coupon codes. How would you apply the code at the store level. Seems there is room for both brick and mortar along with online. Online can consolidate products to a distribution center versus 100 stores. If they uses a kiosk in the store they could ship to the store for free as part of their regular shipments. Anyone see this being used?
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