comScore released its estimates for U.S. e-commerce this week showing nine successive quarters of year-on-year growth and five quarters of double-digit growth. For 2011 as a whole, cmScore estimates that U.S. retail e-commerce spending reached a total of $161.5 billion – a new record.
Highlights of the report include:
- The top-performing online product categories were: Digital Content & Subscriptions, Jewelry & Watches, Consumer Electronics, Toys & Hobbies, and Computer Software. Each category grew at least 18 percent vs. year ago.
- Ten individual days in Q4 surpassed $1 billion in online spending, led by Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) at $1.251 billion. Monday, Dec. 5 ranked second at $1.178 billion, followed by Green Monday (Dec. 12) at $1.133 billion.
- 52 percent of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, representing an all-time high. The previous high was Q4 2010 at 49 percent.
- Smartphones and tablets played a growing role in online shopping, with consumers increasingly using smartphones to check prices and product features while physically in a retail store.
comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni, said, "Price and convenience continue to be the critical value drivers for e-commerce, and unless those conditions change we can expect to see more channel-shifting to online in 2012 and perhaps even an acceleration in the current growth trend.”