US retail e-commerce US$50bn in Q4 2011, up 14% Y/Y

RESTON, US: comScore, Inc, a leader in measuring the digital world, has released its Q4 2011 US retail e-commerce sales estimates, which showed that online retail spending reached US$49.7bn for the quarter, up 14% versus year ago.
US retail e-commerce US$50bn in Q4 2011, up 14% Y/YThis growth rate represented the ninth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates. For the entire 2011 year, US retail e-commerce spending reached a record US$161.5bn, marking a 13% increase from 2010.

Retail E-Commerce (Non-Travel) Growth Rates Excludes Auctions, Autos and Large Corporate Purchases Total US - Home & Work Locations (Source: comScore, Inc)
Quarter E-Commerce Spending (US$ Millions) Y/Y% Change
Q1 2007 US$27,970 17%
Q2 2007 US$27,176 23%
Q3 2007 US$28,441 23%
Q4 2007 US$39,132 19%
Q1 2008 US$31,178 11%
Q2 2008 US$30,581 13%
Q3 2008 US$30,274 6%
Q4 2008 US$38,071 -3%
Q1 2009 US$31,031 0%
Q2 2009 US$30,169 -1%
Q3 2009 US$29,552 -2%
Q4 2009 US$39,045 3%
Q1 2010 US$33,984 10%
Q2 2010 US$32,942 9%
Q3 2010 US$32,133 9%
Q4 2010 US$43,432 11%
Q1 2011 US$38,002 12%
Q2 2011 US$37,501 14%
Q3 2011 US$36,308 13%
Q4 2011 US$49,698 14%

"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 US 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."

Other highlights from Q4 2011 include:

  • The top-performing online product categories were: Digital Content & Subscriptions, Jewellery & Watches, Consumer Electronics, Toys & Hobbies, and Computer Software. Each category grew at least 18% vs. year ago.
  • Ten individual days in Q4 surpassed US$1bn in online spending, led by Cyber Monday (Nov. 28) at US$1.251bn. Monday, Dec. 5 ranked second at US$1.178bn, followed by Green Monday (Dec. 12) at US$1.133bn.
  • 52% of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, representing an all-time high. The previous high was Q4 2010 at 49%.
  • Smartphones and tablets played a growing role in online shopping, with consumers increasingly using smartphones to check prices and product features while physically in a retail store.

Webinar Series: State of the US Online Retail Economy through Q4 2011

Join Gian Fulgoni and Andrew Lipsman, VP of Industry Analysis, as they present an update of the state of the US online retail economy through Q4 2011 in a live webinar on Wednesday, 15 February from 2-3 p.m. EST / 1-2 p.m. CST / 11-12 p.m. PST / 8-9pm South Africa.

To register for the webinar, go to


comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and the preferred source of digital marketing intelligence.
Go to:
Don't miss BizTrends2022 - 7 keynote speakers forecast trends shaping business in our region! Register now!

Let's do Biz