E-commerce recovery continues: comScore

Online retail sales rebounded during the first half of the year, indicating that e-retailers are continuing to recover from the depths of the recession, according to statistics from comScore.

Online sales reached a total of $32.9 billion in the second quarter, up 9% from the same period last year, according to the quarterly tallies from comScore. It marks the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth for e-tailers. The categories with most sales were consumer electronics, computer software, computers, peripherals and PDAs, and books and magazines.

Online sales had been flat or dropping year over year since the recession hit during the fourth quarter of 2008, according to comScore’s numbers. Retail, in general, was hard hit when the housing crisis and credit crunch hit home, with many households halting their shopping, both in bricks-and-mortar stores and online.

However, comScore’s numbers began to improve late last year, when fourth-quarter online sales ticked up 3% year over year to $39.05 billion. That’s just short of a peak of $39.13 billion set in the fourth quarter of 2007.

“We remain cautiously optimistic heading into the second half of the year,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni, in a statement. 

A comScore spokesperson said the company doesn’t typically forecast sales, but added it expects to see more positive growth rates near term, though they could fall from the 9% to 10% rates seen in the past two quarters.

Multichannel retailers are more effectively integrating their online and offline strategies. They are also investing more marketing dollars online outside of the holiday season, which may be contributing to their recent momentum, the comScore spokesperson said.

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