ComScore: Online retail spending up 15% to $41.9 billion in Q3

RESTON, Va. — Online retail spending in the United States reached $41.9 billion in the third quarter, up 15% versus year ago, according to comScore. This represents the twelfth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and eighth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

According to comScore’s quarterly online retail survey, 37% of U.S. consumers say they have engaged in “showrooming” behavior where they use a smartphone while in a retail store to check prices or to even purchase a product online. This represents an increase of 5% in the past two quarters.

“The Q3 growth rate of 15% growth remained in line with the prior quarter and provided confirmation of the strength in the e-commerce sector, despite a few negative headwinds in the macroeconomic environment during the quarter,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Such performance offers some optimism as we approach the holiday season, especially given recent improvements in consumer sentiment. With the housing market beginning to show signs of recovery in addition to increasing – if still underwhelming – job growth, there appears to be strong enough footing to support a very healthy online holiday shopping season.”

The survey also shows that despite a slow-moving economic recovery there has been marked improvement in consumer sentiment in the past quarter, although many consumers still remain challenged by economic conditions. Forty-eight percent of U.S. consumers now rate the economy as ‘poor,’ an 8% point improvement versus the prior quarter and the most pronounced improvement since early 2009 (following the worst of the financial crisis).