New Report Supports Very Healthy Online Holiday Shopping Season

| November 14, 2012 | |

New report from comScore, “State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy Q3 2012”, found that online retail spending in Q3 reached $41.9 billion, up +15% YoY. This represents the 12th consecutive quarter of positive YoY growth and the 8th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. Other highlights from the report include:

  • A channel shift to online appears to be continuing, with online sales increasing by +15% in Q3, while on a comparable category basis, offline sales increased +2%.
  • Mobile commerce accounted for 10% of all retail e-commerce sales in Q3
  • A top-performing online product category was “Consumer Electronics”, driven by a +27% sales growth for mobile phones and a +12% sales growth for TV’s. Additionally, “Computer/Peripherals/PDA” sales were driven by growth in Tablet sales at +20% and desktop computers at +8%.
  • 37% of U.S. consumers say they have engaged in “showrooming” behavior where they use a smartphone while in a retail store to check prices or to even purchase a product online. This represents an increase of +5 percentage points in the past two quarters.
  • Despite a slow-moving economic recovery there has been marked improvement in consumer sentiment in the past quarter, although many consumers still remain challenged by economic conditions. 48% of U.S. consumers now rate the economy as ‘poor’ an +8-percentage point improvement vs. the prior quarter and the most improvement since early 2009 (following the worst of the economic downturn).

Why This Matters: The Q3 growth rate of 15% growth remained in line with the prior quarter and provided confirmation of the strength in the e-commerce sector, despite a few negative headwinds in the macroeconomic environment during the quarter. Such performance offers some optimism as we approach the holiday season, especially given recent improvements in consumer sentiment. With the housing market beginning to show signs of recovery in addition to increasing and job growth, there appears to be strong enough traction to support a very healthy online holiday shopping season.

Information provided by Scott Meador, Senior Director, Predictive Analytics, Time Warner Cable, West Region