Report: Online spending up 10% in Q1

Reston, Va. ComScore released a report Friday that showed first-quarter online retail spending in the United States neared $34 billion for the quarter, up 10% from a year ago.

According to ComScore, the results represented the first time that growth rates reached double-digits since second quarter 2008.

“The first quarter returned the U.S. retail e-commerce market to healthy double-digit growth rates,” said ComScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “While these spending gains provide reason for optimism, we should note that upper-income households are currently shouldering much of the growth. Should the economy falter in the second half of the year and upper-income consumers return to a savings mode, we could still see growth decelerate. But for the time being, this momentum is encouraging.”

Growth in the first quarter was predominantly driven by upper-income consumers, with spending among the $100,000+ household income segment up 14%. Pureplay (online-only) retailers continued to gain e-commerce spending market share from multichannel retailers, and larger online retailers continued to generate higher growth rates than smaller retailers, but the smaller retailers are finally beginning to see positive growth once again, according to the report.