Online Retail Up 14% in July, Led By Jewelry And Clothing

Shopping in categories like jewelry and watches and apparel helped boost online retail spending 14% in July from a year ago, according to a new analysis by RBC Capital Markets, citing comScore data. That rate was faster than the 10% growth in the second quarter overall, and the 8% increase the prior month.

Jewelry led the way with online sales up 18%, followed by clothing and accessories (17%), and packaged goods (16%). The only non-travel category with single-digit growth was books and magazines, up 7%. Online travel, separately, had a spending increase of 10% in July year-over-year -- slightly above the 9% level for the quarter --  and 9% in June.

Looking at specific segments, online revenue for hotels grew 12%, airlines (11%) and car rentals (6%), while sales travel packages were also up 6%. “All in, we view these trends to imply that summer travel trends remain stable,” stated the report by RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney, benefiting online travel companies such as Expedia, Priceline and TripAdvisor.

Overall, the investment bank projects U.S. online retail sales will grow 16% to $305 billion this year, with online travel increasing 8% to $149 billion.

Separate monthly data that comScore released on Monday showed e-commerce powerhouses Amazon and eBay both picked up traffic in July over June. Amazon increased to 95.4 million monthly visitors from 92.5 million in June, while eBay saw a more modest gain, to 59.3 million from 58.5 million.

Overall, Google widened its lead over Yahoo last month, with its U.S. traffic reaching 191.2 million, compared to Yahoo’s 165.1 million, and Microsoft’s 164.8 million. Facebook came in at 144 million, and AOL at 105 million. Yahoo had the biggest drop from June, when it had 171.2 million visitors.

"Tablet User" photo from Shutterstock.

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