We may not be out of the woods yet, but the recent holiday shopping season offered some encouraging signs of recovery for online retailers. Online data provider comScore is out with a new report highlighting some of the bright spots of the season, but also warns that growth will still be only modest this year as consumer spending remains constricted.
The firm also notes that not all retailers are enjoying the recovery in equal measure, with larger merchants posting strong growth while their smaller counterparts continue to struggle. e-Commerce Guide has the full story on the latest economic indicators for online retailers.
While the sluggish economy continues to sap the Internet retail sector, the late stages of the holiday shopping season offered hopeful signs of recovery, according to data released today by online metrics firm comScore.
In 2009, overall e-commerce spending of $130 billion, excluding travel, was flat compared to the previous year, but sales in the final two months of the year saw a 4 percent increase.
“I’m interpreting that as being at the bottom of the troublesome times,” comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said today in a presentation detailing the findings. “We can say that coming out of the fourth quarter we were seeing some modest growth.”
Fulgoni’s firm is predicting modest growth to continue in 2010, though he warned that several factors continue to dampen spending, such as the high unemployment rate, lower access to credit and an increase in the rate of consumer saving.
ComScore pulls its data from a global panel of about 2 million Internet users, split roughly evenly between U.S. and foreign participants. Each quarter the firm recaps the effects of the economy on the e-commerce sector, compiling data that is generally in line with the official quarterly figures that are later released by the Department of Commerce.