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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 07, 2012

comScore: Q4 2011 Ecommerce spend up 14%

Fourth quarters, for merchants, are usually hot commodities. Beginning at Thanksgiving and moving through the holiday season consumers' wallets are loosened and their spending climbs. Q4 2011 was no different for online merchants; comScore reports total online ecommerce spending for the quarter hit $49.7 billion, a 14% increase over 2010.

by Kristina Knight

This is the biggest year to year increase since the recession hit in 2008; Q4 2008 saw spending decrease by 3%.

"The fourth quarter of 2011 capped off what was yet another strong year for online retail, one in which every quarter achieved double-digit increases versus the prior year," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. "In the face of continuing uncertainty regarding the U.S. economy, consumers increasingly went online for their shopping needs. 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."

The hottest categories for online spending were Digital Content & Subscriptions, Jewelry/Watches, Consumer Electronics and Toys/Hobbies, each growing 18% over 2010.

And it isn't just online outlets that are converting shoppers. Mobile devices are also pushing sales. Data from Conversion Research finds that more than half (56%) of Canadian youths (ages 14-24) have smartphones and most have used those devices to get shopping information. Their research shows 27% have downloaded store locator apps, 20% have downloaded product finder apps and 23% have downloaded customer service solutions; more than that, though, over half say they're interested in these types of apps for future shopping.

Tablets and smartphones are becoming a bigger factor for US consumers as well.

Tags: comScore, Conversion Research, ecommerce statistics, ecommerce trends, m:commerce, mobile commerce

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