ComScore: U.S. online retail sales up 13 percent in Q3

The market was helped by a marked increase in the number of shoppers

The U.S. online retail market looks solid as the busy holiday shopping season gets under way, although economic uncertainty remains, according to a study from comScore.

U.S. retailers' online sales grew 13 percent in the third quarter, compared with the same quarter last year, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of year-on-year growth, comScore said on Wednesday.

A key factor in the market's growth was an increase of 22 percent in the number of buyers -- 74 percent of all Internet users made at least one online purchase during the quarter, the company said.

"As we approach the critical holiday shopping season, we are optimistic about the continued health of the e-commerce sector despite other factors," said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement.

Despite high unemployment and financial-market turbulence, e-retail has grown as people, more and more, use online stores, search engines and other sites to research products, find deals and benefit from the conveniences of shopping online, according to comScore.

The most popular product categories during the quarter were digital content and subscriptions; event tickets; jewelry and watches; consumer electronics; and computer software. Each category grew at least 15 percent year on year.

The study doesn't include travel-related sales, items bought at auctions, cars or large corporate purchases.

Juan Carlos Perez covers search, social media, online advertising, e-commerce, web application development, enterprise cloud collaboration suites and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Topics: ComScore, e-commerce, internet
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