RAPAPORT... Digital and Internet research firm comScore Inc. reported that online U.S. retail sales climbed 15 percent year on year to $43.2 billion during the second quarter that ended on June 30. It was the eleventh consecutive quarter of positive growth and seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, according to the firm.
The top-performing online product categories, according to comScore, included digital content and subscriptions, electronics, flowers, greetings and gifts, computer hardware, and apparel and accessories. Each of those categories grew at least 16 percent year on year.
''While the second quarter’s 15 percent growth rate couldn’t quite match the especially high growth rate from the first quarter, it was nevertheless almost four times higher than the growth in overall consumer spending, a sign of continued strength in the e-commerce channel,'' said comScore's chairman, Gian Fulgoni. “That said, although e-commerce remains strong, we are taking a cautious view of the second half of the year in light of some renewed signs of economic uncertainty and a stubbornly high unemployment rate.
''In fact, consumer perception of the economy has recently deteriorated, with 56 percent now viewing economic conditions as poor, up from a level of 49 percent three months ago,'' Fulgoni said. ''So, even as commerce increasingly shifts to the online channel, any significant future pullback in overall consumer spending could dampen the strong double-digit growth rates we’ve been experiencing for the year to date.''