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comScore: Q1 online sales go up


RESTON, Va. — E-commerce sales grew 13% year-over-year to $50.2 billion, marking the fourteenth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and tenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to comScore. It was also just the second quarter on record to surpass $50 billion in spending.

The survey also revealed that nearly half (48%) of time spent in the retail category occurred on mobile devices, with smartphones (34%) outpacing tablets (14%).

"The first quarter of 2013 was fairly strong for online retailers, with total e-commerce sales surpassing $50 billion for only the second time on record," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "While the year-over-year growth rate of 13% remained healthy, it was a point or two below that of the preceding quarters. One potential explanation for this mild deceleration is the payroll tax increase, which went into effect in 2013 and which removed some disposal income from Americans' wallets.”

Fulgoni added that, as long as job growth continues and consumer sentiment remains positive, the outlook for e-commerce in 2013 remains bright.

“However, one wild card is the possible enactment of legislation requiring state sales taxes to be collected on every e-commerce transaction -- which would reduce the Internet's traditional price advantage and possibly dilute the channel's growth rate,” he explained.

Other highlights from the comScore report:

The top-performing online product categories were: digital content & subscriptions, apparel & accessories, sport & fitness, consumer electronics, and consumer packaged goods. Each category grew at least 20% versus a year ago.

E-commerce accounted for 10.6% of discretionary dollars spent, the highest share on record.

comScore's new m-commerce spending estimates revealed that apparel & accessories was the highest grossing mobile (i.e. smartphone & tablet) product category with nearly $1 billion in first quarter sales.

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