Online Retail Spend Soars 15%

Boding well for the holiday season, new data shows that online retail shopping remained strong in the third quarter of the year.  
Year-over-year, online retail spending increased 15% to $41.9 billion in the third quarter, according to new estimates from comScore.
That represented the 12th consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth, and eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said Wednesday.
“Such performance offers some optimism as we approach the holiday season, especially given recent improvements in consumer sentiment,” according to Fulgoni. “With the housing market beginning to show signs of recovery in addition to increasing -- if still underwhelming -- job growth, there appears to be strong enough footing to support a very healthy online holiday shopping season.”
During the quarter, top-performing online product categories included digital content and subscriptions, consumer electronics, event tickets, apparel and accessories and computer software. Each category grew at least 16%, year-over-year.
Also of note, according to comScore’s quarterly online retail survey, 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 even to purchase a product online. That represented an increase of 5% points in the past two quarters.
comScore also found that despite a slow-moving economic recovery, there has been marked improvement in consumer sentiment in the past quarter.
While 48% of U.S. consumers still rate the economy as ‘poor,’ that represents an 8-percentage-point improvement versus the prior quarter, and the most pronounced improvement since early 2009.

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