ComScore.com recently posted their Q4 2009 online retail analysis which claimed that total revenue witnessed a 2% increase compared to Q4 2008 ($38.1 billion) and a 32% increase when compared to the previous quarter. Perhaps not surprisingly, the Q4 increase followed three quarters of negative growth. Q3 saw a decline of 7%, Q2 saw a 9% decline and Q1 fell 10%. Sales over the whole year were stagnant, remaining at $130 billion.
As usual, there were some surprises among the popular retail categories in 2009. Luxury and highly-personalized items like jewelry and watches saw an increase. Consumer electronics, computer software, event tickets, and books also shot up. Non-personalized items like computers, music, movies and sports equipment were also slightly up.
But not all retail sectors received a boost in 2009. Home and garden items, furniture and appliances, apparel and accessories, and greetings and miscellaneous gifts took a marginal slide. Other surprises on the downside included video games, consoles and accessories. Online toys and hobbies sales dropped in 2009 as well, despite a relatively strong fourth quarter. The decline in sales is most likely due to the price slashing at large retailers like Wal-Mart.
In the same article comScore.com released some key e-commerce trends to look for in 2010. They include the following:
- Sixty-one percent of consumers identified current economic conditions as poor in January 2010, compared to 77% in January 2009.
- Despite this improvement, 25% of consumers believe the economy has not hit bottom yet, and another 23% think it may drop again before fully recovering. Only 9% of consumers think a recovery will continue with no significant problems.
- Thirty-six million people visited a digital coupon site in December 2009, representing 20% annual growth in total visits and 8% annual growth in unique visitors.
- Supermarket retailers tend to attract few visitors to their e-commerce sites.
Between November 1 and December 31, 2009 shoppers spent $29.1 billion in online sales. Retailer Daily reported that these figures indicated an increase of 4% from $27.9 billion spent in the same period a year earlier. In contrast, the 2008 holiday season saw a decline of 3%.
The presence of online, or digital, coupons has also grown exponentially in 2009. Data presented by Coupons.com reveals that consumer savings from digital coupons increased 170% in 2009, while regular coupon savings grew just 16%. ComScore’s Q4 2009 retail e-commerce sales data was gathered from a global panel of 2 million internet users and included all worldwide buying on U.S. e-commerce websites.via comScore.com