Digital business analytics leader, comScore, Inc., released their quarterly U.S. e-commerce online payment report last week, estimating $38 billion in Q1 2011 sales. The 12% growth over the same period last year marks the sixth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth in sales within the e-commerce online payment report.
comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni attributes the growth to online bargains, noting that high gas prices and continued high unemployment has motivated the shift from offline to online shopping. “In the first quarter, the growth in e-commerce spending was roughly double that observed at offline retail. While we would expect online buying to dampen slightly if gas prices continue to eat into discretionary spending, it’s clear that e-commerce has become a mainstay in consumer behavior, driven by the attraction of both lower prices and convenience.”
The parallel growth in online payment made through deal-of-the-day sites, such as Groupon and LivingSocial, should also be credited for e-commerce growth. Back in March, BIA/Kelsey reported that 102 million Americans use deal-a-day sites in 178 different metro areas, and their conservative estimate of 19.2% yearly growth in revenue from these sites projects $2.1 billion dollars spent in this medium alone by 2015. Local businesses especially find these sites beneficial as they’re able to launch their offers to highly-targeted demographics.
Also highlighted in comScore’s e-commerce online payment report is the change, or lack thereof, in the top-25 online retailers’ market share. For the second year in a row, the online giants accounted for only 67.7% of e-commerce sales. The top-25’s peak share in 2010 was reported at 70%, suggesting that the statistic is trending in the favor of small to mid-sized businesses that are accepting online payments.
Food for thought if you’re a small business owner who has yet to invest in creating a website—the trends are in your favor to increase sales and visibility to your business. Even if, for example, you are a brick and mortar accounting firm with no online payment offering, data shows as many as 87% of small businesses research products and services online before purchasing offline.*
For more information on comSocre’s findings, click here to access the full report.
*Understanding Small Businesses, Jupiter Research, 2006