ComScore: US online spending up 9% in third quarter

By on November 1, 2010, 5:29 PM
Online shopping is increasingly popular in the US, according to comScore. The data outfit reports today that online spending rose 9% in the third quarter, totaling $32.1 billion and marking the fourth straight quarter of year-over-year growth. The yearlong increase follows a patchy period between Q4 2008 and Q3 2009 when spending fell by 6%.

The most active product categories were Books & Magazines (excluding digital downloads), Computers/Peripherals/PDAs, Computer Software (excluding games), and Consumer Electronics. Interestingly, the top 25 e-tailers represented 70% of dollars spent online, up 5.5% from last year, and 41% of purchases included free shipping, down "marginally" from 2009.

ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni says the results are a "fairly positive indicator for the upcoming holiday season," but warned that unemployment is still high and even those with jobs are spending carefully. "Until the economy begins adding jobs at a meaningful rate, the lack of spending power among consumers will continue to be a drag on purchasing, with many consumers indicating their intention to cut back on gift buying this holiday season."

User Comments: 25

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

With the exception of clothing and food, I buy everything online. It's cheaper, I don't have to leave the house to deal with obnoxious crowds, and I get more of a selection. What's not to like?

Blkfx1 Blkfx1 said:

Spending online is where you get all the deals! Why wouldn't you do it :P Especially for Techies, where computer hardware/software are at its best prices.

KG363 KG363 said:

I shop in stores but buy online. I get to see the items in person, but then get the lower prices of online shopping

grimm808 said:

Since I live in Hawaii, and in the boonies, I do alot of my shopping online, when it comes to electronics and such. All computer parts are either ordered through newegg, or amazon. Preferably amazon because of free shipping. The gas prices make everything horrible.

Guest said:

YA I think this will be the trend till they start taxing online purchases. I buy alot of stuff on Amazon with Amazon Prime you can't beat it. Free 2 day shipping on everything and no tax. Tax sucks. I would buy more at the stores if they didn't tax everything. They should just factore the tax into the actual price. If we never saw the tax we wouldn't even care. Like gasoline!

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

i am a huge ebay user and i by so much online its crazy i think if i could buy food and have it at my house in 10 min i would buy that online to. Its so convenient to buy online plus most of the time you get a better deal than what a brick and mortar store would have.

Superpeter Superpeter said:

Maybe its about time i started that online store I've been thinking about

B00kWyrm B00kWyrm, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I see this as a good sign for the economy.

Not that we have turned the corner yet, but...

If online sales are picking up again, after having fallen off, that is movement in the right direction.

Now, if we could just get some real job creation.

MetalX MetalX, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm not sure increased online purchasing or indeed increased purchasing of any kind is necessarily good for the economy. In the current debt- and credit-based economy of the western world, increased spending often means little beyond the fact that the average consumer is descending further into debt. I think an increase in investment would be more beneficial for the economy in the long run. Sure, more money is being made in the short term thanks to increased consumer spending, but eventually that money will run dry as debts increase. Long term investment and the creation of new jobs would be a better indicator of an economy that is moving forward, in my opinion.

ruzveh said:

Metalx how does online purchasing and spending is good for economy?

dustin_ds3000 dustin_ds3000, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

i spend a lot of my money online,, Buying things online is just so easy

Recipe7 Recipe7 said:

I do about 60-70 of my shopping on the internet. The only thing I don't purchase online is food and clothes. I think everything else can be found on the world wide web.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If Valve's numbers were put into the equation, these statistics would have been much more surprising.

Other than that, it's a good thing Books is the dominating sector. Right?

fadownjoo said:

Increased online spending does not mean increased spending. It could be that people spend 12% less outside but 9% more online, that would be 3% decrease. The economy need OVERALL increase.

f111 said:

Ahh what kind of books though...

sMILEY4ever said:

Well, buying online is convenient: cheaper stuff + free shipping = win. The bad thing is that it's risky due to frauds, fake firms, etc.

Se7enVII said:

Buying online is much better if your smart about it. Much better prices, less work, and free shipping galore.

customcarvin customcarvin said:

Just like most of you, I do most of my shopping online. Like TomSEA said,

It's cheaper, I don't have to leave the house to deal with obnoxious crowds, and I get more of a selection. What's not to like?
Also, the fact that, most of the time, there is no tax is a bonus... The only downfall to all of it is job availability. As more B&M retail stores close and/or become bankrupt, and more online stores pop up, there will be less jobs available for people considering online stores have significantly less overhead, which therefore, includes employees, most of the time. The need for retail stores will always be there, i understand, but if this trend continues to multiply, i think they will become less frequent. Statistically we are not reducing in population... so, people are going to need someplace to work, and considering, in the US, most of the manufacturing has been outsourced to some third world country, there are some slim pick'ins. Not everyone can be a freaking engineer, doctor, or lawyer!! lol -But hey, that's just my cent and a half.

taea00 said:

I agree I buy as much as possible online, but this is bad news for government. While you're required to indicate all your online purchases on your taxes, to pay your sales tax, how many of us actually do that? I definitely don't. So while this is great for the online retailers, it's bad news for governments who are probably see a loss in sales tax.

frodough said:

9% is a severe understatement for me this year

hitech0101 said:

They should have included games & 9% is good considering the current state of economy people are still money online.

kaonis92 said:

How about the "offline" spending? 9% decrease there?

jazboy said:

I like to do shopping online as most of the time i get good rate compare to store. Except cloths, groceries i buy most of stuff online.

Upon1 said:

I'd like to see the Q4 spending considering the amount of retail stores that are doing "early" black friday deals, such as Sears.

xcelofjkl said:

Im not from the US and I envy consumers over there who are able to conveniently do all of their shopping online and receive it from shipping within 1-2 days. Very enviable.

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