E-commerce up 18% in March: MasterCard

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E-commerce and luxury retail sales outperformed all other retail and service categories in March, according to data from MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse report.

E-commerce was up 18.4% from March 2009, representing the category's eighth consecutive month of double-digit growth, according to the report.

Luxury sales saw a 22.7% year-over-year increase for March, although MasterCard noted that the category saw “significant double-digit declines” in March 2009. Specialty apparel sales increased 5.2% year-over-year, with all of its subsectors also seeing gains. MasterCard noted that this growth is partially due to an earlier Easter, which pushed pre-holiday spending into March.

Sales of electronics were up 4.9% from March 2009, with the appliance sector growing 6.8% and consumer electronics jumping 4.5% year-over-year. However, the sector was down 4.2% from March 2008.

MasterCard found a 15.5% increase in online sales from last November 1 to December 24. From Black Friday, November 27, 2009, e-commerce sales were up 18% compared to the same period of 2008.

However, ComScore found that for full-year 2009, e-commerce was down 2% to $209.6 billion. It was the first year on record that the category saw an overall decrease.

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