By Leena Rao
comScore’s e-commerce numbers are out today for the third quarter, showing that online retail spending reached $41.9 billion for the quarter, up 15% vs. a year ago. This is the 12th consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth for online spending. This growth bodes well for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
The top-performing online product categories were as follows: Digital Content and Subscriptions, Consumer Electronics, Event Tickets, Apparel and Accessories, and Computer Software. Each category grew at least 16% vs. a year ago.
"The Q3 growth rate of 15 percent growth remained in line with the prior quarter and provided confirmation of the strength in the e-commerce sector, despite a few negative headwinds in the macroeconomic environment during the quarter," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni in a release. "Such performance offers some optimism as we approach the holiday season, especially given recent improvements in consumer sentiment. With the housing market beginning to show signs of recovery in addition to increasing -- if still underwhelming -- job growth, there appears to be strong enough footing to support a very healthy online holiday shopping season."
According to comScore's quarterly online retail survey, 37% of U.S. consumers use a smartphone while in a bricks-and-mortar store to check prices or to even purchase a product online. This represents an increase of five percentage points in the past two quarters.