U.S. online sales reach record $43.4 billion in Q4 - report says

RESTON, VIRGINIA: ComScore, Inc. on Sunday released the results of the fourth quarter in 2010, which showed that U.S. retail e-commerce sales estimates reached a record $43.4 billion, up 11 percent versus year ago.

This online retail spending growth rate represented the fifth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and second quarter of double-digit growth rates in the past year.

The top-performing online product categories were Computer Software, Consumer Electronics, Books & Magazines, Computers/Peripherals/PDAs, and Toys & Hobbies, comScore said. Each of the aforementioned categories grew at least 15 percent in in last year's fourth quarter, compared to the previous year.

In addition, the top 25 online retailers accounted for 68.4 percent of dollars spent online, up 5.6 percentage points from 2009's fourth quarter. However, this percentage represented a decline from the previous quarter. 2010's third quarter showed that the top 25 retailers accounted for 69.9 percent of dollars, an indication that small and mid-sized retailers are also rebounding from the recession.

Furthermore, the report revealed that 84 percent of U.S. Internet users conducted an online transaction during the last quarter, which represents a 78 percent increase from the previous year, and the average buyer spent about the same amount online during the most recent quarter as they did last year.

"Retail e-commerce had a strong fourth quarter, growing 11 percent versus last year as holiday season spending was bolstered by an improving sentiment among some consumer segments and by retailers' discounting and promotions," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.

"The 2010 holiday season saw the first billion-dollar day on record and several more surpassing $900 million to help propel Q4 to record spending levels. We anticipate that the progress we've seen in the past year as we climbed out of the recession will continue with sustained double-digit growth rates in 2011," Fulgoni added.


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