comScore Networks has released the results of the first complete review of consumer e-commerce for the first quarter of 2002, reporting that sales at U.S. Web sites set a new record of more than $17 billion for the quarter. This level represents an increase of 48% versus one year ago and 8% versus the fourth quarter of 2001. Excluding Travel, online sales totaled $10.1 billion, reflecting 30 percent growth over the first quarter of 2001 and a decline of 7% versus the holiday-driven fourth quarter of 2001.
After more than three challenging months last fall and winter, the online travel sector enjoyed an almost immediate resurgence at the start of January 2002. Consumers spent nearly $7 billion at domestic Travel sites in Q1 2002, an increase of 87% versus the same period in 2001. Travel accounted for 41% of total consumer e-commerce sales. "Throughout the holiday season, many consumers suspended their travel plans - and in turn saved their travel dollars," explained comScore vice president Dan Hess. "Now many of those same consumers are taking to the skies again."
Previous comScore analysis has found that many holidays are followed by a short-term online sales lift as postponed consumer demand is met. However, comScore reported that average daily Travel sales in each month of the post-holiday first quarter exceeded those of the prior month. "We saw a new average daily record set every month," noted Hess.
comScore further reported sales trends across major Non-Travel product categories:
Major Non-Travel Category Sales ($ millions)
|Q1 2002||% Chg vs.Year Ago||vs. Q4 2001|
|Computer Hardware||$ 2,394||44%||-11%|
|Office Supplies||$ 1,691||35%||56%|
|Apparel & Accessories||$ 1,288||-1%||-25%|
|Consumer Electronics||$ 744||34%||-37%|
|Event Tickets||$ 581||103%||52%|
|Home & Garden||$ 458||130%||-2%|
|Health & Beauty||$ 308||44%||8%|
|Sports & Fitness||$ 258||145%||14%|
|Computer Software||$ 236||-12%||12%|
Strong demand for Olympic, NCAA and Super Bowl-related merchandise, as well as post-holiday interest in personal health, drove Sports & Fitness products up 145% versus one year ago.
You can find out more here.