RealTime IT News

Retail Gives E-Commerce a Q3 Pop

As more Americans connect with broadband and advertising revenues grow online, e-commerce spending is keeping pace.

Total online spending by consumers reached $41.3 billion in the third quarter. That's a 16 percent increase over the same period in 2005, according to a comScore report released this week.

In large part, the growth was due to online non-travel, or "retail," spending. It increased 23 percent to $23.1 billion in the third quarter.

Some retail categories outperformed the average. Consumer Electronics, excluding PC Peripherals, rose 42 percent, and Apparel & Accessories shot up 32 percent over the same period last year.

Travel spending grew in the third quarter as well, but at a slower rate, up 9 percent to $18.2 billion.

ComScore said the positive numbers heading into the holiday season set forecasts high.

The market research firm forecasts total consumer online spending in 2006 to reach approximately $170 billion, estimating that non-travel e-commerce will break the $100 billion threshold for the first time.

The Web continues flexing its muscle as one of the important drivers of retail sales growth," Gian Fulgoni, chairman of comScore Networks said in a statement.