According to a new report from comScore, retail e-commerce spending reached $50.2 billion for the first quarter of 2013, surpassing the $50 billion mark for the second consecutive quarter on record after reaching $56 billion in Q4 2012. This is the fourteenth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth and tenth consecutive quarter to earn double-digit growth, with sales up 13 percent for Q1 2013.
While still strong, last quarter’s 13 percent growth rate was slightly less than growth during previous quarters. “One potential explanation for this mild deceleration is the payroll tax increase, which went into effect in 2013 and which removed some disposal income from Americans’ wallets,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.
Of the $50.2 billion in retail e-commerce sales last quarter, $5.9 billion was attributed to mobile spending. ComScore found that nearly 49 percent of the time spent in the retail category happened on mobile devices, with 34 percent of that time on smartphones and 14 percent on tablets. ComScore’s m-commerce metrics appear to conflict with an earlier eMarketer report forecasting the majority of m-commerce retail sales to be made from tablets this year, with only 35 percent of m-commerce happening via a smartphone.
Digital Content & Subscriptions, Apparel & Accessories, Sport & Fitness, Consumer Electronics, and Consumer Packaged Goods were the top-performers in e-commerce retail categories, each growing 20 percent compared to last year’s numbers. Apparel and Accessories was the highest grossing m-commerce category, earning $1 billion of the $5.9 billion in m-commerce sales.
It will be interesting to see if this $50+ billion trend continues should the House of Representatives pass Internet sales tax legislation in the coming weeks.