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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : February 13, 2009

comScore: US Ecommerce down but up

A mixed message from metrics firm comScore for etailers. According to the company US ecommerce was down about 3% in Q4 2008 but for the entire year, ecommerce actually grew about 6%. Why the difference? The stock market crash is likely the culprit; before the market deflated consumers were still spending and after most consumers vastly cut back.

by Kristina Knight

Researchers found that ecommerce grew to reach just over $130 billion in the US for the year.

comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni said, "The financial market meltdown that began in the fall dramatically reduced consumers' discretionary spending power, resulting in the first quarter of negative growth that we've observed. As we enter 2009 with rising unemployment and continued economic uncertainty, the first few months of the year will be especially critical in foretelling what 2009 has in store for the online retail sector."

Gaming continues to be the fastest growing online retail category (29% increase year over year) with Home & Garden and Sports & Fitness tying for second place at a 25% YoY increase. Event Ticketing (13% increase), Consumer Electronics (9% increase) and Apparel & Accessories (4% increase) rounding out the top five categories.

2009 is expected to be another tough year for etailers as consumers continue to watch the economic situation around the world closely. To combat that, etailers need to find the balance between highly discounted items, bigger loyalty programs and prices so low that they cannot make a profit.

Tags: comScore, ecommerce, ecommerce research, etailing, online shopping

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