Reston, Va. – U.S. desktop-based e-commerce sales grew year-over-year to $47.5 billion during the third quarter of 2013, marking the 16th consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and 12th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth. In addition, newly released comScore data shows that e-commerce spending on smartphones and tablets added $5.8 billion for the quarter, up 26% from year ago, for a total digital commerce spending total of $53.2 billion in the third quarter.
The top-performing online product categories were: digital content & subscriptions, apparel & accessories, CPG, consumer electronics, and jewelry and watches. Each category grew at least 14% from one year ago. E-commerce accounted for 9.4% of consumers’ discretionary spending, the highest third quarter share on record. Of the additional $5.8 billion in mobile commerce (m-commerce), purchasing using smartphones accounted for 62% as compared to 38% from tablets.
“Third quarter e-commerce spending grew 13% from a year ago, and although that marks a pretty healthy growth rate, it also represents a slight deceleration from the prior quarter,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Other macroeconomic indicators also suggested relative softness in discretionary spending, which offers some cause for concern as we head into the holiday season. Although there was evidence of slightly diminished consumer confidence in Q3, a more optimistic take is that increased outlays on large purchases such as new homes and automobiles may have temporarily squeezed other discretionary consumer spending. That said, the trend could still spell a challenging holiday season for retailers this year – particularly given the highly compressed calendar between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which contains six fewer shopping days than last year and is the shortest shopping season since 2002. Nonetheless, we are confident that the growth rate in online spending will once again far exceed that in bricks-and-mortar stores, reflecting the ongoing channel shift to e-commerce.”